Ten Easy Summer Annuals for Spring to Frost Flowers

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French Marigold

What summer garden could be complete without a few French Marigolds? Cheery blooms in yellows, oranges, golds, and rust spring profusely from six to 24-inch plants. And the more you cut, the more they bloom. French Marigolds deter some garden insect pests and reduce nematodes in the soil. They prefer full sun, but can grow well in partially shaded areas as well.


Often sold as a plant for partial shade, impatiens prefer more sun and do best where they receive at least four to six hours of sun a day, but less in very hot climates. Delicate blooms in a host of colors, from simple single petals to double and triple blooms that look like roses. They like plenty of water in well drained and amended soil.


A tobacco plant grown for it’s heavily scented, trumpet-like blooms that fully open at dusk. Blossom colors include white, pink, yellow, purple, red and even lime green and they attract hummingbirds and moths. A garden path lined with flowering tobacco provides a richly scented place to take a leisurely evening stroll.


If you can’t find a petunia color you like, then you don’t like colors. There are multicolor stripes and solids in almost every color and hue imaginable. These easy to grow annuals are a flower garden staple. Transplants reach maturity quickly and the blooms last until frost. Plant them close together for a wide swath of color.


These fun and easy flowers like full sun and are generous with their blooms in colors that include reds, yellows, oranges and pinks. Nasturtiums aren’t very picky about soil types or nutrients, and flower well even in poor soils. The blooms attract butterflies and are edible; they add a peppery taste to salads and other dishes.


Nasturtium (Photo: motherearthliving.com)


The queen of blue in the flower garden, they are described as midnight, royal, or sapphire blue. Some varieties have white centers, others not. Some shades appear almost white, other are magenta. In warm to hot climates, Lobelia might stop blooming in the heat. Cut it back and wait for it to rebloom in the fall.


Pyramid-shaped red, orange, and yellow blooms push up through rich, thick foliage for striking display. They are best when planted as seedlings after any danger of frost has passed. Crested varieties have an interesting, twisted shape to their blooms. Some varieties have deep-red leaves, others a glossy deep green.


Plant from seedlings or seeds in the spring. They prefer soil that hasn’t been over fertilized. If you see lots of foliage and few blooms, you fed them too much. They grow two to five feet tall with yellow, orange, red, pink, and white varieties. Cosmos is another all summer bloomer and perfect for cottage gardens or borders.


An all time favorite, and another flower with an incredible variety of colors. The zinnia is children’s garden favorite. The seeds are easy to plant and they grow into beautiful flowers in just weeks. The Zinna produces all summer long and keeps the garden going. Double or single blooms on stalks from one to four feet tall.

Morning Glory

Every garden should have at least one trellis, arbor, or pergola with morning glories climbing up the sides. Mainly flowers in blues, scarlets or deep rusty reds, this fast growing vine climbs up to fifteen feet and flowers while it climbs. Attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. Another very easy plant to grow, but not for a children’s garden as the plant is poisonous.

Keep Annuals Blooming

At the end of the season, annuals die; their singular purpose is to put all available energy into producing seeds. Once that job done, so too is their life. Many gardeners are dissapointed when the spring blooms fade in early summer and the plant remains barren but for a few solitary blooms for the remainder of the season. They try fertilizers and other remedies to no avail.

When an annual flower is pollinated, it stops producing new blossoms and puts all its energy into it’s seeds. Once the seeds are ripe, the plant has no purpose left, and either withers or waits for frost.

The answer is deadheading. Cut those spent blooms off before they fully wither and the seeds falls out. Use a snips and clip right below the seed pods. The plant will resume flower production since it has not accomplished it’s singular purpose of producing seeds.

Glory Lennon

Glory writes about flower gardening and other gardening subjects in addition to her serial romance novels from the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, USDA Gardening Zone 5b

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