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12 Lovely Red Annual Flowers

Incorporate red into your garden beds and borders with annual flower picks for every season.

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Photo: Shutterstock / akarapong

Zinnias Are All-Star Annuals

Zinnias come in a wide variety of colors with large, profuse blooms. They are truly an easy to grow annual flower. Zinnia offers many colors and mixed blooms from which to choose.

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Oriental Poppy ‘Flamenco Dancer’

'Flamenco Dancer' poppy unfurls 4- to 6-inch-wide red blossoms with a deep black center in late spring to early summer. Poppies steal the show when they’re in full bloom, but later plants go dormant. Tuck other perennials around these bloomers to avoid bare spots in the garden. Oriental poppies form long taproots that resemble white carrots. Dividing isn’t always successful and is not typically recommended. Plants are hardy in Zones 3 to 7.

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Corn Poppy ‘American Legion’ (Papaver rhoeas)

'American Legion' is a Dutch variety dating to 1891. The rich red flower cups boast a white cross inside. Bees can’t resist these blossoms, so make sure you’re not carrying any indoors when you gather flowers. Gather with larkspur and daisies for a Memorial Day bouquet.

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Photo: Photo courtesy of Wayside Gardens


If your garden goes weeks at a time without rain, or you have dry soil that won’t hold water, don’t despair. Grow blanketflower or Gaillardia—it thrives on neglect, prefers arid conditions and looks like a party all summer long.

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