Types of Annual Flowers List with Pictures
Welcome to our annuals database where you can search by many key attributes to discover the perfect perennial for you. If you want to design a garden, check out these garden design software options.
But, a good starting point is to figure out which flowers and plants will not only survive but will thrive in your yard.
To figure this out, you need to look at the key attributes of various flowers and plants such as hardiness zones, sun requirements, and water requirements. Of course, you also have to like the look of the flower so that you get the intended design in your garden.
To that end, we put this gallery together. The cool thing is we’re madly adding a lot of annuals to this gallery so it will grow over time just as our perennials gallery will grow.
We continually update this database, so please bookmark it and check back weekly.
List of Annual Flowers A – Z Database
How to use our annual photo gallery?
You can use it for inspiration but you can also use it to get various bits of information about the annual plant species. Under each image and name (common and scientific) we include a table that sets out important growing information.
If you’re looking to drill down your search, check out:
Do you need to expand your flower search?
We have you covered. Check out our searchable flower and plant database here.
If you want to design a garden and you also want that garden full of wonderful colors and scents, look no further than annuals.
When you begin designing your garden you need to consider several important factors. Garden size, as well as location, are key, but you should also think about what types of annuals you want to grow, the colors and if you are going to produce edible plants or just flowers.
We have created this guide to help inspire your garden ideas and give you advice about planting annuals to design and grow a garden that makes you happy.
What are Annual Plants?
Annual plants, or more commonly referred to as annuals, are plants and flowers that go through all the stages of their life, from seed to bloom, and then die. Unlike a perennial, annuals must be replanted every year.
Depending on your tastes, and garden ideas, annuals are a great way to add color and aroma to your yard or home. With annuals, you can even change your mind every season and change the entire look of your garden without having to worry about ruining any of the plants.
Long before you put a shovel in the ground or begin tilling the earth, you need to design your garden. If you don’t have a plan things may not work out the way you want, and you will end up with something you don’t enjoy.
You need to think about the size of your garden, if you will have or start it indoors when you should begin planting and what types of plants you will raise.
A. Garden Size
One of the most significant factors about what your garden will look like is knowing how big of an area you have to work with.
Smaller gardens can be just as fun and exciting to work in as large gardens as long as you start with an idea and know the limitations. You wouldn’t want to try to plant corn in a planter in the kitchen window, for example.
Annuals will work in any size garden. They don’t have the extensive root system that their perennial partners do which will allow for more varieties and options when it comes to garden size.
However, you will have to consider the plant aspects in your design. Annuals are not very competitive and will allow for more weeds to take root. Annual gardens can end up very robust and very beautiful but will require more weekly work than a perennial garden will.
Something else to think about is the size of the plants you will have in your garden. Taller plants can block the sun and water from smaller plants and some of the ground-level plants end up taking over a garden and killing taller plants by taking all the nutrients from the soil.
When you design your garden layout, you should allow for growth but also keep in mind how much sun, water, and soil each plant will need.
B. Indoor Gardens
If you don’t have a yard to create a garden in, that isn’t a problem. You can move your garden indoors.
By using planters, baskets, and windowsill boxes, you can have a garden just about anywhere. This is ideal for apartments or smaller homes that don’t have space outside for a garden.
When planting a garden inside you must choose your soil carefully. You also need to provide sunlight somehow. You can accomplish this by having movable planters and taking your plants outside on a regular basis, or by having them in a room with enough natural light to give them the correct amount of sunlight.
C. Outdoor Gardens
A majority of gardens will be outside. The size of the garden will be determined by the amount of room you have and the options you use.
It is essential to understand the soil you will be working with. If you are planting directly in the ground, you should ensure that the base soil in your area can hold enough water to sustain your garden.
Sand and gravel base soils don’t hold water very well and may need to be combined with soil from a home improvement store.
Most of the annuals will do just fine in a pleasant climate. Special conditions will allow for non-native plants and flowers to grow healthy and full in your area.
Always check with a florist or your garden center before purchasing or planting to ensure that a particular flower will do well in an outside garden.
Most garden centers will only sell plants and flowers that do well in your local environment, but you should always double-check before putting them in the ground.
D. Raised Beds
Another option is to use raised flower beds. These are gardens that have a border, usually in decorative brick or wood ties that is then filled with compost or topsoil where the flowers are planted.
You can also use planers outside and will have more room to utilize larger box planters or pots. With raised beds and planters you will need to check regularly that the soil has enough moisture and enough nutrients for the plants to grow.
Your climate will also play a part in an outdoor garden. If your yard doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight or your area doesn’t get a lot of rain, you will need to make sure that the plants and flowers you use will be able to thrive in your conditions.
With raised beds and planters you will need to keep a dedicated watch on the moisture of the soil. Some planters will hold water too long, and raised beds will have a barrier between the soil and the ground.
These barriers work well to keep grasses and weeds from popping up into your raised bed, but they don’t always allow for water to drain properly. Over-watering is just as harmful as not watering enough.
When to Plant Annuals
Knowing what time of year to plant your annuals is critical. Depending on where you live in the United States your planting season will vary. Each area is placed into zones based on the average temperature.
You can find a graphic of the zones on the back of most seed packets. You can also ask your florist or at your local garden center if you don’t know your zone.
Planting at the wrong time of year can mean that your plants never bloom, die out before they can germinate or even bloom too early and die out before you are ready for them too.
A. Fall Planting
Fall planting for annuals will depend greatly on the type of plants you are planning to grow. The earlier in the fall that you can plant, the better off you will be.
A lot of annuals are not cold weather tolerant and planting in the fall will mean they will die sooner or not even germinate at all. Ensure the seeds or bulbs you are planting are cold weather tolerant before planting.
You should know the zone you are located in as well as which annuals will best bloom in the fall. Some annuals do well in the fall and will give you beautiful flowers and blooms before the winter strikes.
B. Winter Planting
By its very nature, planting anything in the winter is not going to work. The freezing temperatures will kill just about everything you put in the ground if you can even get into the ground to plant.
However, just because it is freezing and the ground is solid doesn’t mean you can’t begin preparing for spring. Using indoor planters or windowsill boxes you can begin germinating the seeds indoors.
If you do this, you must maintain the correct temperature and soil moisture to begin the seed sprouting. If you do it too early, your plant will grow and bloom indoors and will die off before you can get it transplanted outside.
It is never recommended to start annuals in the winter as their lifespan doesn’t promote winter growth.
C. Spring Planting
The vast majority of your gardening with annuals will be done in the spring. You should be aware of the zone you have located in as well as the types of annuals you are planning to grow. You also need to be mindful of your location’s freeze date.
The freeze date is the date of the average last freeze of your area. As annuals don’t do well in freezing temperatures, you don’t want to plant them and begin their life cycle only to have them killed by a late-season freeze.
You can protect your seedlings by covering them if a freeze does come after planting, or you can start them off in a cold box.
In early spring (before the freeze date) you can plant cold-tolerant annuals like pansies or violas. However, planting anything before the freeze date means you need to do a little extra work.
You need to acclimate your plants to the colder temperatures or to being outside. Placing them outside in the warm sun during the day and then inside when the temperature drops overnight will help.
After about a week you can begin leaving them outside overnight as long as the temperature isn’t below freezing.
After the second week of this, you can then plant them outside, and they should be fine surviving on their own.
In late spring, post-freeze date, you can plant pretty much any annual you see fit, transplant annuals from the indoors to the garden outside or move your planters outside full time.
D. Summer Planting
Summer planting is fine for a lot of annuals, as long as you take special care to keep them watered and not overheated.
Some annuals are heat tolerant (like their fall time, cold tolerant counterparts) and will do surprisingly well by being planted in the summer months. You should always check with your garden center or the packaging of your seeds to ensure the annual is a heat-tolerant species.
Whatever time of year you begin your gardening, you must ensure the soil is workable and not too wet. If you can squeeze the soil and it clumps instead of falling apart in your hands, it is too wet.
Wait until after the soil doesn’t clump and before the ground becomes too hard in the fall and your annual garden should thrive.
Common Annual Flowers
Your garden should reflect your personality, but it should also be able to serve a purpose. If that purpose is to add color and aroma to your home, then flowering annuals are the right choice for you.
If you want to opt for a more productive garden, then edible annuals may be what you are after. Whatever your choice, annuals are a great addition to any garden.
A. Annual Flowering Plants
Flowering annuals are plants that grow and bloom flowers in various shapes and sizes. Most are aromatic and will fill the air, or your home with wonderful scents.
Some of our favorite flowering annuals are:
- Pink Dianthus
B. Edible Annuals
Growing your own food is a great hobby enjoyed by gardeners and chefs alike. Nothing beats fresh herbs and produce like growing it yourself.
Tending to an edible garden is not only fun but rewarding as well, especially when you get to taste the fruits of your labor.
Some of the most popular edible annuals are:
- Litchi Tomatoes
No matter your preference, you are sure to find annuals that will brighten your day and maybe even your dinner plate.
You can browse our galleries of annual plants and flowers to gain inspiration and ideas on how to design, cultivate and grow your own annual garden. With some careful planning and a few hours a day playing in the dirt you will be sure to have a garden you can be proud of.