Top 10 Annual Flowers
This list could change every season (or maybe every day) since there are SO many great annuals out there these days. But for now, here’s 10 I’m liking a lot…
1.) Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost.’ Grows into a 2-foot-round ball that’s covered with dainty, white, babys-breath-like flowers. Looks like a giant summer snowball. Great solo in a pot or in beds. Sun or part shade.
2.) Ornamental pepper ‘Purple Flash.’ The leaves are a beautiful changing blend of cream, green and several shades of purple. The flowers are lavender, and the rounded fruits are glossy black. 18 inches tall. Full sun.
3.) Persian shield (Strobilanthes). A great tropical-looking foliage plant that I grow every year — either in pots or the ground. The color reads metallic silver with a purple sheen. Definitely a head-turner and easy to grow. 2 feet tall, 3-foot spread. Part shade to shade.
4.) Begonia ‘Dragon Wing Pink.’ All kinds of action here –glossy green leaves, pinkish/burgundy stems and leaf undersides, hanging pink flowers. Very drought-tough and a vigorous grower, too. 15 inches tall, 2-foot spread. Sun or a fair amount of shade.
5.) Angelonia ‘Serena White’ and ‘Serena Purple.’ Angelonias look a bit like orchids, but they’re very tough and trouble-free. The ‘Serena’ series is the most compact and very heavy-blooming. They look great with ‘Knock Out’ roses. A foot tall and wide. Full sun to light shade.
6.) Petunia ‘Pretty Much Picasso.’ New for 2010, the color sounds odd — plum purple edged in green. But it’s actually a beautiful variegated combo — and different, too. About 10 inches tall and 18 inches around by season’s end.
7.) Zinnia ‘Profusion Fire.’ A compact zinnia that doesn’t get mildew and blooms heavily in a brilliant burnt-orange. 18 inches tall by 15-inch spread. Full sun.
8.) Begonia ‘Bonita Shea.’ A compact, heat-tough begonia with dark, rounded leaves and hanging white flowers. Superb container plant. About a foot tall with a 15-inch spread. Part to full shade.
9.) Coleus ‘Kong Rose.’ It’s hard to pick out just one favorite from all the great coleus out there these days, but I like this lime/green and rose one with the nearly hand-sized leaves about as well as any. 15 to 18 inches tall and wide. Part to full shade.
10.) Petunia ‘Supertunia Bubble Gum.’ Also hard to narrow down a favorite in a huge field of great petunias, but this one is a vibrant pink, a heavy bloomer and a solid, reliable performer. 10-12 inches tall, 18-inch spread. Full sun to part shade.