Everyone wants color in their yard this time of year. While perennials are wonderful because they come back year after year, annual bedding plants are often the go to for impactful color because they will keep blooming all season long. Are you looking for a way to add some easy color? Choose from our top 10 annual bedding plants to add instant WOW to your patio!
Impatiens walleriana, commonly called impatiens or bizzy Lizzy, are one of the most popular annual bedding plants in the U.S. today. For easy-to-grow, non-stop flowering in shady conditions, there truly is no equal. Impatiens are a bushy annual plant that grows in a spreading mound to 6-24” tall depending on variety. They feature flowers in various shades of pink, rose, red, lilac, purple, orange, white and fun mixes that combine different hues.
Impatiens are a great bedding plant to use for color in shady areas!
The unreal, vividly colored flowers of this South African plant bring a touch of the exotic to the garden. Gazanias are the perfect plant for people with hot, dry beds. This tough plant endures poor soil, baked conditions, and drought beautifully and still produces bold-color, daisylike flowers from summer to frost. The flowers appear over toothed dark green or silver leaves (the foliage color differs between varieties). They’re great in beds and borders and containers, too!
Gazania are the perfect flower to use in hot, dry annual beds.
Snapdragons are a traditional, much-loved annual bedding plant. They get their name from the fact that you can gently squeeze the sides of the uniquely shaped flower and see the jaws of a dragon head snap closed. The blooms come in gorgeous colors, including some with beautiful bicolor variations. Even better, snapdragons are an outstanding cut flower! Since snapdragons are an early season annual, you can plant them into your garden a few weeks before the last frost. Snapdragons are known for self seeding so make sure that you deadhead if you do not wish to have them in the same spot the year after! An added bonus… rabbits usually won’t eat snapdragons!
Snapdragons are easy to grow, make wonderful cut flowers and are cold tolerant!
A truly beautiful low growing ground cover type plant is called the portulaca, or sometimes known as the sun rose or moss rose. Portulaca flowers tolerate many kinds of soil but prefer sandy, well-drained soil and love the full sunlight. These plants are excellent for high heat and drought tolerance, and will seed and spread themselves very well. The low water requirement of the moss rose makes it a natural choice for the container garden. You can include it in containers that are exposed to winds, such as on a patio or dock. It thrives on neglect, and you’ll look like a professional gardener as the plants keep on blooming all Summer long into the Fall season!
Portulaca are the perfect choice for hot, dry beds that get little maintenance.
Wax begonias, or fibrous begonias, are brightly colored bedding plants that are equally at home in full sun or full but bright shade (think filtered light, not dense shade). From first setting them out until they are laid low by frost, they’ll be packed with white, pink, rose, or red blossoms. Virtually untouched by bugs or blight, their only shortcoming is a relatively narrow color range. The foliage can be green, bronze, or red; and the flowers come in shades red, pink, and white. Typically, bunnies won’t bother them.
Wax begonias are versatile bedding plants that work in full sun to filtered shade and everything in between!
Zinnias are one of the easiest plants to grow, as they grow quickly and bloom heavily. Zinnia flowers make a massive burst of color in your garden, and they attract butterflies! Zinnias thrive in the sun and heat of summer, providing an abundance of bright, vibrant blooms in a variety of forms and sizes, making this easy-care annual a pure garden pleasure. Their colorful blooms and tall sturdy stems make zinnia a perfect cut flower, and the more you cut the blooms, the more you will have. Zinnias are not only one of the best pollinator attractors, they are also rabbit resistant.
Zinnias not only make for colorful, easy to care for bedding plants, but also make wonderful cut flowers.
Annual vinca, occasionally called periwinkle, is not related to the perennial ground cover with the same common name. Annual vinca is prized for its nonstop flower show from early summer till fall. This plant is drought tolerant once established and requires almost no maintenance to keep it looking terrific. Use it en masse in beds and borders or tuck it into mixed containers with other annual flowers. Annual vinca grows 12 to 18 inches tall and comes in pink, purple, red, white, magenta, and bi-colors. The flowers are also attractive to butterflies! Periwinkle doesn’t require deadheading, or the removal of faded flowers, to continue blooming, making it a wonderfully low-maintenance annual flower for sun.
Annual vinca is drought tolerant and is a good old fashioned favorite to add to your garden!
One of the most popular series of Petunias ever to hit the market, Wave Petunias have impressed us all with the speed at which they grow and the nonstop color that they bring! These spreading, trailing Petunias grow at super speed, up to 2″ per day! Incredible color all season long, waves start blooming once the night time temperatures warm up, and they continue their display well into fall. Make sure to give them enough sun, water and regular feedings so you can watch them do their thing!
Wave petunias are a sure fire way to add a big boom of color to any sunny landscape!
Annual Salvias are sturdy, floriferous plants that will bring color to any sunny landscape. They come in so many different colors, bloom shapes and sizes, to be honest, the hardest part is choosing which one to take home! Free-flowering from early summer to autumn, remove faded flowers to increase your salvias bloom power. Bunnies don’t bother salvia and bees and butterflies love it!
Red flowers are just one of the options you have when choosing salvia for your annual beds.
Marigolds are cheerful, compact yellow, orange and burgundy annuals with pom pom flowers. They are widely adaptable and extremely low maintenance. Their bright blooms will last all summer and will attract bees to your yard. Also consider companion planting marigolds with tomatoes to discourage beetles and add color to your vegetable garden! Pick off dead blooms to encourage new and fertilize every 6 weeks.
Marigold attract pollinators and look good while doing it!
Do you have a favorite that is not on our list? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section below!