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26 Annual Flowers for Year-Round Color

Annuals are known for their bright, showy color that lasts for a season to a year. Discover outstanding annuals for strong seasonal color, including tips on when and how to plant.

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Plan a Seasonal Color Show

Dress up your outdoor spaces with beautiful blooms. By adding living color in containers or planting beds, you can transform your home into a gorgeous garden escape. Choose plants that strut their stuff in different seasons and you’ll savor a non-stop show as the months roll by.

The easiest way to achieve continuous color is by planting annuals. These flower powerhouses deliver in-your-face color that — in many cases — sparkles through several seasons. Gold and red calibrachoa (above) tosses open petite two-tone blooms from spring through fall frost. It shines even more when it’s paired with pretty foliage plants that unfurl colorful leaves, like this combination of chartreuse Angelina sedum, ‘Plum Dazzled’ sedum and ‘Ogon’ variegated sweet flag.

Sedums are perennials in some zones, but you can also use them as annuals, effectively expanding your planting palette. This pot offers stunning color from spring through fall in all but the most extreme planting zones (hottest, coldest).

Want to discover other great annuals you can count on for strong seasonal color? Check out the following plants — labeled by when they bloom the best — to stage your own year-round flower show.

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Photo: Image courtesy of Felicia Feaster


Fall, Winter & Early Spring: Who can resist the cheery blooms of pansy? They strut their stuff during winter in warmer zones and early spring and fall in cold regions, bouncing back from light frosts. Plant in mass in beds or fill containers. When using for winter color, plant tightly for a fuller look, especially in regions with some freezing temperatures.

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Fall, Winter & Early Spring: For fall and winter color in warmer zones, consider snapdragon. These plants open flowers in a rainbow of hues and also come in a variety of plant heights, from short to towering. Established snapdragons can withstand subfreezing temperatures, making this a great choice for winter gardens. Sow seeds in fall, winter or early spring. Plant seedlings into soil whenever you see them for sale. Choose tall varieties for cutting gardens.

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Photo: Ball Horticultural Company

Trailing Garden Mums

Fall: Dress your outdoor spaces with trailing Skyfall garden mums. Flowers open to reveal petite daisy-like blossoms that beckon late season pollinators. Create your own autumn fest by hanging baskets of mixed Skyfall garden mum varieties, including yellow, white and pink. Purchase baskets that are fully budded and just starting to open flowers to make sure you get the color you want — and so you can enjoy the floral fireworks as buds burst. While garden mums can be grown as perennials, treat these beauties as an annual to fill out fall color displays.

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