Annual flowers are known for adding colour and vigor to landscaping. With their abundant, brightly coloured blooms, they can be adapted to any style of decor, from tropical to country to modern to rustic-chic. Whether planted in-ground or in containers, annuals give an instant WOW effect in the darker corners of the garden or patio. Since they don’t survive our winters, they need to be pulled out at the end of the season and started again for the following year, making it quick and easy to vary the colour themes of your floral decor.
As with any plant, it is important to choose your annual flowers according to the level of sunlight you have and to group together varieties that have similar water and fertilizer needs; this will make their maintenance easier.
Garden centre shelves are filled with hundreds of varieties of annual flowers each spring. Growers and breeders are always working to improve cultivars so that annuals are hardier, more floriferous and better adapted to our climatic conditions. Still, we have our favorites:
Whether cascading or climbing, petunias are a must in the garden. Available in many colours, solid or streaked or even pecked, petunias survive many weather conditions and bloom from spring to fall without stopping. Once established, they require almost nothing; simply remove spent blooms and make sure they are well watered. For optimal flowering, fertilize them every two weeks with a flower plant food.
Bright red, pink or white, geraniums are everywhere in gardens and on balconies. It is loved for its abundant bloom and easy maintenance. In addition, it is possible to reuse geranium from one year to the next, either by overwintering them in the house with our other houseplants or by taking cuttings. For a beautiful bloom all summer long, remove faded flowers and yellowed leaves and make sure it doesn’t lack water.
For shadier locations, begonias are the way to go. There are two types of begonias: flowering and leafy. The first one produces beautiful single or double flowers in various shades of white, pink and orange while the other one surprises with its remarkably coloured and shaped foliage. Beware, there are also indoor begonias: be sure to ask. Plant them in pots or in-ground and avoid direct sunlight and getting the foliage too wet when watering.
For a tropical touch, nothing beats canna. With its large, banana-like leaves and large, brightly coloured central flowers, mostly yellow, orange and red, canna is an eye-catcher. It’s a wonderful choice for your potted flower arrangements, but will also grow in-ground in rich, well-drained soil. Before the frosts, you can recover the bulb of your canna to put it in dormancy and replant it next spring.
Alyssums need very little soil and can easily make their way between stones. They are therefore ideal for flowering low walls or rock gardens. They also make an excellent ground cover as they stay low and are covered with small, beautiful and fragrant flowers. Alyssum grows in full sun and is considered one of the easiest plants to grow. As a bonus, it attracts butterflies. Use it in your flower pots too! You’ll love it everywhere!