Annual flowers and foliage plants provide many options for short-term accent and beautification in a landscape. By definition, annuals are those plants that live and bloom for only one year. They die at the end of the growing season and must be replanted or reseed themselves the following season.
In some cases, desirable landscape plants such as impatiens, coleus, and geraniums are actually tender perennials, meaning they live for many years in warm climates, but cannot survive our Idaho winters. We refer to and treat these plants as annuals in the garden.
The effort and expense of replacing plants each year are one drawback to using annuals in the garden. However, annuals are unmatched in variety, color, bloom period, and adaptability. Many can be grown from seed for pennies a plant, There is an annual plant for every situation in the landscape and all these factors compensates for the extra effort involved in establishment, removal and replanting. Some annuals, such as cosmos, re-seed freely, establishing themselves in a garden year after year.
Annual flowers can be used in traditional beds, rock gardens, cutting gardens, borders, window boxes, containers, and hanging baskets. They add interest and color to architectural features. They can also be used to beautify uninteresting areas in our landscapes or used as screens to hide undesirable features. Some annuals, like California poppy and sunflower grow in dry, rocky, shallow areas where little else will grow and bloom.
Your local garden center will likely stock thousands of different annuals for the garden and containers, and exciting new cultivars are being released continually.
In this section you’ll find a complete guide to selecting, planting, and caring for annual flowers and foliage plants. Use the links on the left to navigate through a wealth of information.