An annual is a plant that completes its life cycle in one year. They grow from seed, bloom and produces seed again and will die in one growing season.
The main purpose of the annual plant is to produce seeds to ensure future generations. Annuals are popular in the garden because they will produce continuous blooms with regular deadheading. The removal of spent flowers before seed formation encourages the plant to push out more blooms to increase seed production.
Annuals can also be divided into Cool Season and Warm Season. Cool season annuals are plants that prefer cooler temperatures and best planted in Spring and Fall. Ever wonder why your Pansies look long and leggy in the summer heat? They prefer the cooler Spring temperatures. Another good annual for spring or fall planting are Snapdragons. They are one of the last annuals to die in the early fall and can even withstand a light frost.
Warm season annuals just don’t like cold feet. They need the warm heat to really get them going. This can be difficult in our Calgary weather especially since we have such big fluctuations in day and night temperatures. A few examples of warm season annuals are Impatiens and Marigolds. So be sure to plant after all risk of frost has passed.
Alyssum, Begonia, Cosmos, Dianthus, Dusty Miller, Gazania, Impatiens, Lobelia, Marigold, Mimulus, Nasturtium, Pansy, Petunia, Salvia, Snapdragons, Verbena, Viola, Zinnia
Anagalis, Asparagus Fern, Bacopa, Bidens, Brachycome, Calibrachoa, Coleus, Double Impatiens, Euphorbia, English Ivy, Fuchsia, Gaura, Heliotrope, Helichrysum, Ipomea, Lobelia, Nemesia, Osteospermum, Petunia, Sanvitalia, Torenia, Verbena
Non-Stop Begonias, Zonal Geraniums, Martha Washington Geraniums, Dahlias, Sunflower