Annual plants are incredibly exciting to plant in your garden.  They offer an explosion of vibrant colors and beautiful blooms that can transform any outdoor space into a visual feast for the eyes. Whether you prefer delicate pastels or bold, eye-catching hues, annual plants come in a wide variety of shades to suit your personal taste.

Another reason why annual plants are so thrilling to grow is their fast growth rate. Unlike perennial plants that can take years to establish themselves, annuals sprout quickly and reach maturity within a single growing season. This means that you can enjoy their beauty and reap the rewards of your gardening efforts in a relatively short time.

Annuals provide endless opportunities for experimentation and creativity in your garden. With each new season, you can try different varieties and combinations of annual plants to create stunning displays and explore various color schemes. This flexibility allows you to constantly refresh and reinvent the look of your garden year after year.

In addition to their aesthetic appeal, annual plants also offer practical benefits. They are often more disease-resistant than some perennial plants, which means less time spent on pest control and maintenance. Many annuals attract beneficial insects like bees and butterflies, enhancing pollination in your garden and promoting a healthy ecosystem. They can also fill “holes” in your landscape quickly and with immediate beautiful results.

Annual plants are an excellent choice for those who enjoy gardening as a hobby or want to introduce children to the joys of growing their own flowers or vegetables. The quick results provided by annuals can be particularly rewarding for beginners or impatient gardeners who crave immediate gratification.

Here are some wonderful new annuals you might want to consider planting in your garden:

Black Jack Agapanthus – This new variety has purplish-black buds that bloom to deep purple flowers. Agapanthus has tubular flowers that grow in spherical clusters on top of strong stems with strappy foliage. The plant adds a touch of elegance and drama to any garden or landscape. This plant is a 2023 winner of the United Kingdom’s Chelsea Flower Show.

Coral Candy Coleus - The Coral Candy Coleus plant is a stunning ornamental plant that adds a pop of vibrant color to any garden or indoor space. Known for its eye-catching foliage, this plant features leaves in various shades of coral, pink, brown, and green, creating a visually striking display. Due to its compact growth habit, the Coral Candy Coleus plant is an excellent choice for containers or as part of mixed bedding displays. Its vibrant colors make it an ideal focal point in any garden design or as an accent plant alongside other complementary flowers or foliage plants. It is an All-American Selections winner.

Cuphea Sweet Talk™ Lavender Splash – This cuphea variety has vivid bicolor purple blooms and will make a splash in any garden. Cuphea plants are loved by pollinators because they are a natural source of nectar. Bees and hummingbirds are especially attracted to cuphea.  This heat-loving plant can be grown in containers or landscapes. The flowers bloom from late spring through autumn. From full sun to mostly sun and partial shade, Cuphea can thrive in a wide variety of garden settings and grow to be fairly big.

Double Jewel Frosted Sapphire Petunia - This Petunia variety is known for its double-layered, frilly blooms in a mesmerizing shade of sapphire blue. The Beautiful blue and white picotee pattern adds a pop of color to any garden, landscape, or container.  This petunia variety is known for its vigorous growth habit, producing abundant blooms throughout the summer season. It thrives in full sun and well-drained soil,

Flamenco Salsa Red Vinca - The flowers of the Flamenco Salsa Red Vinca are a rich, deep red color that adds a bold pop of color to any outdoor space. The petals are delicately ruffled, giving them an elegant and unique appearance. These flowers bloom profusely throughout the summer months, creating a beautiful display that lasts for weeks on end. The plant is relatively low maintenance. It thrives in full sun but can tolerate some partial shade as well. This plant is also drought-tolerant once established and has good heat tolerance, making it suitable for various climates.

Passion Fruit Lantana - The Passion Fruit Lantana is eye-catching and characterized by its dense clusters of small, tubular flowers that bloom in a variety of colors including shades of fuchsia pink, orange, and yellow. These colorful flowers not only add beauty to gardens and landscapes but also attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Lantana is a popular choice among garden enthusiasts. One notable characteristic of this plant is its ability to thrive in various soil types ranging from sandy to loamy. It prefers well-drained soil and requires moderate watering.

Redemption Colocasia – This unique Elephant Ear has stunning coloration. The leaves display a vibrant combination of deep burgundy center pattern and dark purple foliage. The contrast creates an eye-catching effect that adds drama and elegance to any garden. Redemption Colocasia can grow up to 3-4 feet in height, making it a great choice for adding height and structure to your garden or landscape. It thrives in warm climates and requires well-draining soil and regular watering to keep it healthy and thriving.

Rose Sensation Thunbergia - This thunbergia is known for its stunning rose-colored flowers and lush green foliage. This particular variety of Thunbergia is highly sought after for its unique color and ornamental value. The Rose Sensation Thunbergia is a fast-growing vine that can reach heights of up to 6 feet, making it an excellent choice for trellises, fences, or arbors. Its twining stems allow it to climb and cling onto structures, creating a visually appealing display in any garden or landscape. Regular pruning helps maintain its shape and encourages more prolific blooming.

Talavera Moondust Coleus – Talavera Moondust Coleus has pretty wide dark burgundy leaves sprinkled with different-sized yellow spots. One of the advantages of the Talavera Moondust Coleus is its versatility. It thrives in both sun and shade conditions, although it prefers partial shade with some protection from direct sunlight during the hottest parts of the day. This makes it an excellent choice for gardens with varying light conditions.

The excitement of planting annual plants in your garden lies in their stunning colors, rapid growth rate, endless creative possibilities, practical benefits, and the joy they bring to both experienced gardeners and newcomers alike. Let us know if any of these delightful beauties make it into your garden!

Coral Candy Coleus, Cuphea Sweet Talk™ Lavender Splash, and Talavera Moondust Coleus photos courtesy of Ball Seed Horticulture.

Double Jewel Frosted Sapphire Petunia photo courtesy of Proven Winners.

Flamenco Salsa Red Vinca, Passion Fruit Lantana, and Rose Sensation Thunbergia photos courtesy of Jill Mazur

Black Jack Agapanthus and Redemption Colocasia photo courtesy Southern Living Plant Collection

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