Versatile – Varied – Vivacious: Annuals Pack a Punch
Gardeners who seek instant gratification naturally gravitate toward annuals. These bright, beautiful plants deliver a powerful punch throughout the growing season, starting with the first flats of winsome Pansies.
Our in-house expert, Certified Master Gardener Gail Moll, is a wealth of information about these versatile plants. Her interest in gardening began at her father’s knee, and took off when she started to share plants with a neighbor. Gail has also expanded her knowledge base as a member and officer of the Ramsey Area Garden Club.
- Stay colorful all season
- Are easy to grow
- Provide plenty of bang for the buck
- Come in nearly every color, size, and shape
- Pair well with perennials
- Attract hummingbirds and butterflies — and can help repel garden pests
- Are delicious! Vegetables are annuals, too.
Yes, some annuals require deadheading (removal of spent blossoms) so they will continue to bloom all season, but others, like Begonias and Impatiens, do not.
Remember that the term “annuals” refers to the plant’s lifecycle. Most annuals last for the growing season, or until they set seed. Since annuals strive to produce the next batch of seeds, deadheading prolongs the amount of time these plants continue to produce flowers.
Bonus: Many annuals will re-seed themselves in your garden.
Beyond Thrillers, Spillers, & Fillers
Annuals are perfectly suited for container gardens. Gail goes well beyond the usual “thriller, spiller, and filler” formula to bring color and texture to any home and garden. Tall Ageratum, Abutilon, Cleome, and Angelonia make fine thrillers thanks to their upright growth. Add Vermillionaire (a form of Cuphea) or Lantana for a “filler.” Vermillionaire’s tube-shaped red-orange firecrackers attract hummingbirds. Lantana’s grapefruit-scented flower clusters draw butterflies. When choosing a spiller, look for the “cascade” varieties of flowering Vinca, or the South African specialty known as Mezoo. Mezoo’s pointed, pale green leaves are edged in white, and its tiny hot pink flowers are a sweet surprise. Try this spiller with a dark-leaved form of Celosia.
Gail has plenty of suggestions and options for gardeners at every skill level. Be sure to mention whether you require shade- or sun-loving plants. Rohsler’s grows many of the annuals sold here and carries an unparalleled array of other annuals and tropicals from select growers.