Annuals In The South: What Are The Best Southeastern Annual Flowers

Annuals In The South: What Are The Best Southeastern Annual Flowers

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By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden

Flower gardens planted with annualblooms is often the most colorful in the landscape. These plants finish theirlifespan within a year, or a season, and offer the best of all the aspects offoliage and flowers within that timeframe. One of the best things about growingannuals in the South is that you can enjoy an abundance of blooms before the worstheat of summer sets in. Of course, a number of annuals will also delight inthese warmer temps.

Let’s take a look at the thebenefits of growing a southern annual flower garden:

  • Sprout easily from seed
  • Flowers develop the first season
  • Add color while waiting for perennials to bloom
  • Grow edible flowers

Planting Southeastern Annual Flowers

Annual flowers can be planted fromseed for a less expensive way to fill your flowerbeds with beauty. Plantingseeds allows you to know exactly what’s been used to feed the plants, importantinfo if you’re growing edible flowers or planting an organic bed. Start themindoors a few weeks before the last frost date in your area to get your bedsfilled at the earliest point.

If your area of the South is proneto a late frost, start with planting cold-hardy annuals like:

  • Dianthus
  • Pansy
  • Sweet alyssum
  • Petunia

These survive that unexpectedfrost. Seeds of cold-hardy annuals may be sown directly into the prepared bed,as well as starting them inside.

When temperatures are still cool,plant out sprouted seedlings of annualphlox, calendulaand cosmos.These like cooler temperatures, but don’t take frost and will fade quickly inthe heat, of which southern regions are known for. While both cold-hardy andcool-season annuals decline as summer heat takes over, many will return whentemperatures cool off in fall. In the meantime, add in tender annuals for acolorful show in summer.

Tender annuals are those that likethe heat of summer and are best started in spring. These include vinca,impatiens,marigolds,and zinnias,among many others. You’ll want some flowers with height among those annualplants that clump or grow near the soil surface. Grow taller varieties of ageratum,tasselflower, or spiderflower.

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12 Best Annual Flowers for Full Sun

It can get pretty hot sitting in the sun all day. Some plants love it others faint. Many perennials with deep tap roots and water-conserving leaves can handle lots of sunshine, but annuals that never get the chance to develop an extensive root system tend to struggle. So you have to choose wisely when selecting annual flowers for the sunny spots in your garden. Here are 12 annual flowers that can tolerate full sun.

Top 5 Annuals for the Southeast

­If you're wondering what annuals will thrive best in the Southeastern region of the United States, you've come to the right place. Not only will this article shed some light on the topic, but it will also help point you in the direction of great research tools.

Annuals are plants that have a flowering lifespan of one season. As you read on, you'll learn discover which five plants have proven popular in the states of the Southeast. Some people claim that the Southeast comprises only the states below Virginia that border the Atlantic Ocean. Other peopl­e say the Southeast can also include Alabama and a few more inland states from the Eastern seaside.

For the purposes of this article, we'll concentrate on three Southeastern states -- Georgia, Florida and South Carolina. From there, we can assume that whatever flowers are recommended for these three states will be a good indicator of what will work in the general region of the Southeast -- however it is divided. Taking that approach, the top five flowers we'll discuss are marigolds, pansies, petunias, vincas and zinnias.

If you have heard much about flowers or gardens in general, you may have heard about or seen maps of different zones found in the United States. A zone in the field of landscaping and horticulture refers to the overall temperature of an area, marking the annual lows. This zone map helps you match a plant to a specific region. The zones for the United States range from three to 10, with three only appearing at the coldest parts of the North near Canada and 10 showing in some parts of places like Florida, Texas and California. Our Southeastern region includes zones eight, nine and 10 [source: Pondkoi].

­If there is one flower you can expect to see in a garden in Georgia, you can bet it will be a marigold. Considering the name of this annual, you might be under the impression that it's always yellow or gold. This is not the case, though, as marigolds come in a variety of warm colors including yellow, gold, orange and deep red. There are two major species of marigolds, the African Marigold (Tagetes erecta), which is also known as the American marigold, and the French Marigold (T. patula). African Marigolds have the largest, tallest and fullest flowers. Of course, as with most plants, there are hybrid species­ such as the Triploid Marigolds that are a cross between the French and African Marigolds. The size of marigolds range from 6 to 36 inches (15.2 cm to 91.4 cm) tall [source: Thomas].

Marigolds are considerably easy to maintain indoors and out. Your best results for growing marigolds will come if you put them in full sun. The Southeast yields great marigolds because of the heat. Marigolds traditionally bloom in the summer and autumn, but in warm regions like the Southeast they can bloom into winter. To protect against frost dangers, some gardeners may first plant their marigold seeds in a pot indoors. Before you transplant the plants to the outdoors, you want to make sure there is no longer a chance of frost. You also want to take care to space the plants out properly, which means 8 to 16 inches (20.3 cm to 40.6 cm) depending on the variety of marigolds you have.

Some things to keep in mind about marigolds when planning your garden is that they have a long flowering period and they have a potent and often unpleasant smell. Marigolds do need a healthy amount of water in the Southeast, where summers tend to get dry and hot. A good method of containing moisture within the soil is to cover the soil with mulch so it is not directly exposed to the sun. The water needs to get deep into the soil, so regular watering will help you fulfill this need [source: Garden Guides].

Despite the names African Marigold and French Marigold, the marigold is actually a native of Mexico [source: Jauron]. ­

Annual Planting Guide For Edmonton Region

When to plant in the Edmonton Region

I always plant my vegetable garden the 1st weekend in May! (Except pumpkins and cucumbers). In the Edmonton area – zone 2, the average frost free date is May 27th. It is usually is safe to seed most things by May 15th, if the ground is dry enough to till. You must have corn planted by this date, or it likely won’t mature by fall.

Transplant the majority of frost hardy flowers vegetables (plants like pansy, violas, snapdragons & lobelia lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, and onions by May 10th, if the forecast does not include a subzero night for the next 4 or 5 days. Be prepared to cover them up if it gets really cold (-5C). They will all survive a light frost if they have a chance to get acclimatized for a week ahead of the frost.

If a frost warning is forecasted, simply cover your plants with sheets, bath towels or light blankets for protection. For smaller container plants you can simply move them to a protected area such as a porch roof or into the garage for the night.

Spinach, Edible Peas & Sweet Peas can be sown directly into the ground usually by April 20th! You’ll be picking peas by July 5! Also, seed , beets, radishes, swiss chard, turnips, carrots, and onion sets can usually be sown directly into the ground around May 1st. Be sure you mark all your plants so you know what is growing in each row.

By May 10th, plant potatoes, beans, and corn. Springs here in Edmonton are getting later, and later! I used to plant pumpkins and basil by June 1st, but now I wait until around June 7 -10th. (Froze them too many times!).

Wait until there is no danger of frost to plant pumpkins, zinnia, geraniums, peppers and cucumbers. This is the first week of June. They really must be planted by June 10th, or you won’t have time for them to mature by September frosts, which often come with the full moon!

Watch the video: Late Summer Annuals