Planting Summer Annuals
Annuals offer a great way to brighten up your landscape thanks to their versatility and diversity. Whether you’re looking for color and texture for your flowerbeds, window boxes, hanging baskets, walkway borders, or pots, there’s a summer annual that will fit your needs. With proper care, many annuals will liven up your landscape from spring until the first frost of fall.
Annuals Defined – An annual plant has a life cycle of just one year. It develops from a seed, blooms, produces seeds, and dies in that time. Most summer annuals grown in the Southeast are “tender” annuals, in that they don’t survive frost like “hardy” pansies would. Summer annuals thrive in warm temperatures.
Planting Annuals – If planting in a container, make sure to use a potting mix and not a garden soil so the plant can get the appropriate amount of air, water, and nutrients. Be sure your pots have drainage holes in the bottom. When planting in the ground, till the soil well. Remove annuals from cDo not pull the plants out. Dig a hole the size of the root ball and cover the roots with potting mix or surrounding soil.
Caring for Summer Annuals – If you want your annuals to last, you need to show them a bit of TLC. While they might be able to survive the heat, they can only do so with proper watering. Most summer annuals require at least 1-1.5 inches of water weekly between rainfall and irrigation. Mulch can help annuals in your garden by moderating soil temperature, retaining water, and reducing weeds. Fertilizers can also help to keep your plants blooming longer.
Summer Selection – You have many choices when it comes to summer annuals. Consider whether they’ll be planted in the sun or in full or partial shade. You will also want to choose between climbers or spreaders depending on your planting location. The following selections of annuals are able to withstand summer heat, providing just a few great options for adding color to your Atlanta yard:
- Petunias: With several colors and varieties to choose from, petunias are a great option for sunny locations but they need regular watering.
- Vinca: Also available in many hues, Vinca offer a great drought-tolerant option that thrives in full sun and can even survive in poor soil.
- Zinnias: Part of the daisy family, zinnias come in pink, yellow, red, and more. They range from 6 to 36 inches in height and are another great pick for full sun locations.
- Begonias: With colors ranging from white and pink to bright red, most begonia varieties are perfect annuals for shaded areas.
- Impatiens: Impatiens work well in partial to full shade and come in a range of colors. Varieties include New Guinea impatiens, which boast the largest blooms.