annual flowers

Top 32 Annual Flowers To Grow for a Colorful Garden

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There are plenty of great reasons to grow annual flowers. Sure, they don’t last forever—but isn’t that true of most beautiful things? 

Annuals offer gorgeous, prolific blooms that will add a pop of color in your garden where you least expect it. With so many annual flowers to choose from, though, it can be tough to know which way to go!

Here are some of the best options you can grow so you always have many flowers that bloom all year in your garden.

#1. Angelonia

purple angelonia

This gorgeous, drought-tolerant flower is the perfect annual for a gardener in the south. In a warm environment and in full sun, it will produce blooms from summer until fall

Though it’s not as winter hardy as some of your favorite short lived perennials, it is drought tolerant and can easily be replanted yearly. It’s a resilient plant that people love for its ability to attract bees when its flowers open up brightly in the garden beds!

#2. Vinca

white vinca

The vinca flower is also referred to as Madagascar periwinkle. This flower blooms nonstop during the summer and is known for its gorgeous blue hues. It grows best in zones four through nine.

The vinca flower can also be found with white flowers, as there are many different varieties you can grow. It attracts butterflies and bees and requires full sun exposure. These popular annual flowers are some of the most gorgeous white flowers people love!

#3. Begonia

white pink begonia

The begonia plant can be grown just about anywhere. It requires minimal maintenance (zero pruning or deadheading—perfect!). Choose to grow this beautiful annual in a container, and you can move it inside and reuse the tubers the next year. 

This easy to grow annual flower is also popularly grown in window boxes as it prefers somewhat dry soil and can handle all kinds of sun exposure, including full sun exposure and part sun.

#4. Celosia

deep purple celosia

Celosia produces gorgeous flowers in all kinds of colors and shapes, including pink, orange, red, yellow, fans, plumes, and brains. They grow fast and bloom mostly in the summer

This annual flower produces colorful flowers and there are multiple varieties available. They bloom readily in mid summer to late summer and look just like tropical plants with their bright flowers.

#5. Zinnia

pink zinnia flower

Zinnias can be found in all kinds of colors, including red, pink, orange, yellow, and white. These flowers look a lot like dahlias and are best grown in planters or containers.

#6. Chrysanthemum

yellow chrysanthemum

The chrysanthemum is a must-have plant that can be grown from seed starting in the spring. It blooms in late summer to early fall and can be found at just about any nursery. In some places, it can be grown as a perennial plant, b ut more often than not, this plant just enjoys a long season as an annual plant.

#7. Cosmos

purple cosmos

The cosmos is an adorable, pint-sized flower that blooms more and grows taller the more often you cut it. It produces lovely flowers in shades of white, purple, and pink.

#8. Cornflower

purple cornflower

Not to be confused with the perennial coneflower, cornflowers grow best in zones 2 through 11, particularly in full sun and well-draining soil. These flowers bloom best in the summer months.

#9. Dahlias

yellow and purple dahlia

Dahlias are gorgeous lowers with honeycomb shapes that look beautiful in any garden. They are easy to care for, and actually, if you are careful about digging up the tubers every year, you can grow these plants and perennials, too.

#10. Nasturtium

yellow nasturtium

The nasturtium is an easy to grow flower that comes in all the best and brightest fall colors. It can produce blooms from spring until autumn and is known for its utility in the vegetable garden (it repels a ton of common garden pests!).

#11. Geraniums

white geranium plants

Geraniums are easy to grow and will flourish for several months as long as you grow them in full sun or partial shade.

#12. Calendula

orange calendula

The calendula is another gorgeous flower that grows well in full sun to partial shade. It is best grown in well-draining soil, ideally in zones 9 through 11. You can harvest this flower for its beauty alone, or use its petals to make essential oils for your skin.

#13. Stock

pink stock flower

The flowering stock has a clove-like aroma that makes it perfect for bouquets or lining walkways in your garden. These blooms come in all colors and grow best in full sun.

#14. Impatiens

orange and white impatiens

Impatiens are tiny flowers with delicate petals, perfect for dark areas of your yard. These flowers can be planted in a shady location for gorgeous blooms all summer long.

#15. Primrose

pink primula primrose

There are several varieties of primrose for you to choose from, with English primrose being one of the most popular choices. It has a ton of bright colors that can brighten up your garden or your home. It blooms best in the winter.

#16. Larkspur

pink larkspur

Larkspur is shockingly easy to care for in a colder climate. You can grow these plants in the fall and their seeds will overwinter. They’ll produce beautiful blue flowers before dying back in the spring.

#17. Sweet Pea

pink sweet pea flower

Another flower that you can grow as an annual is the sweet pea. Known for its delicate, plying aroma, this flower can produce vines that climb as tall as ten feet. There are dwarf varieties available, too, though, if vines are too much for you to handle.

#18. Marigold

red marigold

Marigolds give you a lot of bang for your buck, pushing out gorgeous yellow and orange flowers every summer. Those flowers tend to last long into the autumn months, too and are known to attract pollinators and repel pests.

#19. African Daisy

purple osteospermum

Most daisies are perennial, but that’s not the case with the African daisy. This flower can bloom a long time, though, and will add a lovely pop of color to your garden.

#20. Pansies

pansy plants

The humble pansy is an easy flower to grow if you want a frost-resistant bloom.

Pansies can be found in just about any color and are the best choice for an early spring to early summer garden. Though they can handle a light frost, these favorite annual flowers probably won’t live past the first frost.

#21. Sweet Alyssum

purple sweet alyssum

Sometimes referred to as an herb, the Sweet Alyssum flower has a light fragrance and grows well in both full sun and partial shade. It only reaches a few inches tall, so you don’t have to worry about it taking over.

#22. Petunias

petunia plants

Petunias are also fuss-free, growing well in the spring, summer, and fall. These flowers are usually grown in hanging baskets, but you can grow them in containers, garden beds, and other locations, too.

Petunias can be grown as perennial flowers in some places, but for the most part, these vibrant flowers are good for one season only and won’t come back the following year. They aren’t cold tolerant.

#23. Dianthus

dianthus plant

Fragrant blooms with gorgeous, rich green foliage, dianthus flowers are often referred to as pinks. They can also be found in shades of purple and white, though!

#24. Pentas

pentas plant

This annual plant is quite similar to the angelonia in that it loves being grown in hot, sunny weather. It produces gorgeous blooms with clusters of lavender, white, pink, or red flowers all summer long, though its beautiful blooms will first appear in the late spring.

The flowers can attract pollinators, too. These are true annuals that really only live for one year.

#25. Ranunculus

orange ranunculus

This low growing, low maintenance annual flower offers fragrant blooms first thing in the spring as long as you plant in the fall.

With colors in shades of pink, yellow, red, orange, and white, you’ll love growing these annuals and using the blooms in your favorite floral arrangements.

#26. Calibrachoas

pink purple calibrachoa

Sometimes referred to as Million Bells, these flowers look a lot like small petunias. They are hardy only in zones 9 to 11, often grown as annuals in hanging baskets and containers. They prefer being grown in full sun but can also tolerate light shade. 

#27. Snapdragons

yellow snapdragons

The towering snapdragon can add some serious height, dimension, and color to your flower garden. It’s easy to grow and does well in full sunlight.

Keep in mind that while this plant is great for adding texture and color for one growing season, it does need a lot of sunny days to flourish – it will die back as soon as cooler weather arrives. It’s very much a true annual in this regard. It cannot withstand even a light frost.

Also, this flowering plant does need staking. Though it’s a great option that attracts butterflies, it really needs some extra support!

#28. Sunflower

yellow sunflowers

You can grow sunflowers that are the traditional golden color, but you’ll also find flowers in shades of white, pink, orange, and red. They can grow several feet high—taller than you, in many cases!—and establish themselves rapidly, even in poor soil.

#29. Globe Amaranth

Globe amaranth is a tender perennial that is often grown as an annual plant. These brightly colored flowers come in several colors, including pink, purple, and red. The small flowers have papery petals and grow in clusters that attract butterflies and bees. Globe amaranth blooms all season long and is a great cut flower to use in arrangements.

#30. Cape Daisy

Cape daisy, also known as the African daisy, is a great choice for gardeners who love fragrant flowers. These perennials are grown annually in most parts of the US and have stunning flowers with brightly colored, trumpet-shaped blooms.

Cape daisy blooms all season long and attracts hummingbirds and butterflies to your garden. These tender perennials can tolerate frost and are perfect for gardens with direct sunlight.

#31. Moss Rose

Moss rose is a beloved annual that is perfect for people who want stunning flowers without a lot of fuss.

These resilient plants have heat and drought tolerance and can even tolerate some frost, making them a great choice for gardeners who live in colder climates. Moss rose plants bloom nonstop and have attractive foliage that adds texture to your garden design. These annual plants come in a range of vibrant colors, including red, pink, yellow, and white.

#32. Satin Flower

Also known as the Clarkia, this beloved annual is a true gem with stunning flowers that bloom nonstop throughout the entire growing season.

Satin flowers come in several colors, including white, red, and pink, making them a perfect choice for adding texture and seasonal color to your flower bed. They have small, papery petals that form trumpet-shaped vibrant blooms, attracting butterflies and bees to your garden. If you are looking to attract hummingbirds, satin flowers are a perfect choice.

One of the great advantages of satin flowers is their resilience to cooler weather, including light frost, making them a great cut flower for adding instant impact to your floral arrangements. They are also low maintenance plants with heat and drought tolerance, making them the easiest flowers to grow in hot, dry soil.

Satin flowers do best when grown annually in full sun exposure and well-drained soil. They are low growing and can be grown in window boxes or mixed containers with other plants for lusher foliage and attractively fragrant flowers.

A Few Final Tips for Growing These Annual Flowers

When it comes to adding seasonal color to your garden designs, annual flowers are an excellent choice. Unlike perennial plants that return year after year, annuals bloom nonstop for the entirety of their growing season, providing instant impact and vibrant colors.

Many gardeners love planting annual flowers in flower beds or mixed containers, as they’re low maintenance plants that add beauty and texture to any outdoor space.

When planting annual flowers, it’s important to consider their sun exposure and watering needs. Most annuals thrive in full sun conditions and require regular watering to keep their lush foliage looking its best. Adding a slow-release fertilizer can help ensure that your annual flowers bloom nonstop for the entire growing season.

We hope you enjoy reading our list of annual flowers. Don’t forget to plant some of these lovely plants in your garden.

See more: The Difference Between Perennial and Annual Flowers

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