Spring and Summer Annuals

Paint your garden with living color by planting annuals that bloom all summer. Extend the season even more with spring annuals.
Sunflower 'Elegance' - Types of Sunflowers

Sunflower 'Elegance'

Think 'Elegance' when you're looking for a compact summer sunflower with bold color. These plants reach 20-30 inches high, but offer lots of flower power with their gold petals and deep brown "eyes." The heavily-branching plants produce lots of flowers on long stems that are good for cutting.

Photo by: Image courtesy of Burpee

Image courtesy of Burpee

Think 'Elegance' when you're looking for a compact summer sunflower with bold color. These plants reach 20-30 inches high, but offer lots of flower power with their gold petals and deep brown "eyes." The heavily-branching plants produce lots of flowers on long stems that are good for cutting.

Turn up the color in your yard with summer annuals that come into their own when temperatures soar. Summer annual flowers fill a garden with bold waves of color, and you can savor an even longer show by adding spring annuals to beds and containers. By using a combination of heat-tolerant annuals and spring annual flowers, you can create a colorful garden escape that lasts for months. 

Summer annuals are all-stars when it comes to serving up garden color. These are the plants that pack a flowery punch and fill summer months with a strong performance. Summer annual flowers don’t need much more than water, fertilizer and a place to sink their roots to stage a spectacular show. If you select drought-tolerant annuals, once they’re established, you don’t even need to water that often to ensure a pretty display. 

Today’s summer annuals feature powerhouse plants like Wave petunias or Supertunias, which grow many inches a day under ideal conditions. Other plant breeding breakthroughs that have created outstanding summer annuals are heat tolerant snapdragons and sun tolerant coleus, caladium and impatiens. Tropical plants, now readily available at many retail outlets, play a key role in the summer annual show, thriving in the heat and humidity that the season brings. 

Summer annual flowers worth growing for their non-stop show include Dragon Wing begonias and Begonia boliviensis, a tuberous begonia with bell-like blooms. These plants wow with average care, but if you provide well-drained soil and steady bloom booster fertilizer, you’re on your way to a traffic-stopping display. Diamond Frost-type euphorbias (Euphorbia graminea) are another summer annual group that thrives in heat and humidity and never misses a blooming beat. They have been called a blizzard in a pot, and that’s just what they resemble. Grow it once, and you’ll never spend a summer without it. 

For cheery spots of living sunshine, investigate gloriosa daisies (Rudbeckia hirta). This group of summer annuals resembles a black-eyed susan, unfurling blossoms to 3 inches wide or more, with petals in shades of gold, bronze, burgundy and brown. They’re spectacular in containers or planting beds. Count on zinnias, sunflowers and cheery melampodium (Melampodium paludosum) for more daisy-like blooms all summer long. 

While there are cannas with dark, almost black foliage, 'Tropicanna' makes a good color bridge between darker red and maroon plants and the rest of the garden.

Tropicanna Canna

While there are cannas with dark, almost black foliage, 'Tropicanna' makes a good color bridge between darker red and maroon plants and the rest of the garden.

Photo by: Photo by Felder Rushing

Photo by Felder Rushing

While there are cannas with dark, almost black foliage, 'Tropicanna' makes a good color bridge between darker red and maroon plants and the rest of the garden.

Don’t miss out on summer annuals that feature all-star foliage. This group includes coleus, with both its shade loving and sun tolerant members. Coleus has exploded with foliage fireworks, offering color combinations that bedazzle. Draft summer annual canna lilies to add height and striking leaf hues to landscape plantings. Tropicanna, Bengal Tiger and Pretoria cannas feature stunning leaves with artistic color combinations. 

Kick off the summer show by filling pots and beds with spring annuals, which typically thrive in cooler weather. This group of seasonal beauties includes lobelia (Lobelia erinus), Nemesia and monkeyflower (Mimulus). Or maybe you want to savor the fragrances of sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima), sweet William (Dianthus) and flowering stock (Mathiola incana). In regions with cool summers, many spring annuals continue to shine well into summer. Typically these spring bloomers prefer temperatures between 60° F and 80° F.

Next Up

Planting and Growing Zinnia Flowers

Celebrate summer by planting a mix of zinnia flowers you can pick and plunk into vases.

Petunia Flowers: Planting and Caring for Petunias

Easy-care petunias can't get enough of the sun. Plant petunia flowers in pots, hanging baskets or beds for vibrant summer color.

How to Grow Gerbera Daisy

Learn about beautiful gerbera daisies and what it takes to achieve garden success with these jewel-tone bloomers.

How to Grow Portulaca (Moss Rose)

Got sun? Plant portulaca, also known as moss rose, for easy-care color from summer to fall.

Plants for Summer Color

Ignite some garden fireworks with plants that sparkle in summer.

How to Grow and Care for Primrose Flowers

Primrose comes from the Latin word for first, and these easy-to-grow beauties are among the first flowers to bloom in spring.

Growing and Caring for Impatiens

Brighten shady — and sunny — nooks with one of the most goof-proof annuals: impatiens.

Fall and Winter Annuals

Extend the garden season by filling outdoor spaces with fall and winter annuals that blend beauty with cold tolerance.

How to Grow Nasturtium

Learn how to plant and care for nasturtium, an old-fashioned, easy-to-grow annual garden favorite that's beloved for its edible leaves and flowers.

How to Plant and Grow a Redbud Tree

Learn all about colorful redbud trees, plus get expert tips and information for choosing, planting, growing and caring for Eastern redbuds in your home landscape.

Go Shopping

Spruce up your outdoor space with products handpicked by HGTV editors.

On TV

Luxe for Less

12pm | 11c

Home Town

1pm | 12c

Home Town

2pm | 1c

Home Town

3pm | 2c

Home Town

4pm | 3c

Home Town

5pm | 4c

Home Town

6pm | 5c

Home Town

7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Home Town

8pm | 7c

Home Town

10pm | 9c

Home Town

11pm | 10c

Home Town

12am | 11c

Home Town

2am | 1c

Home Town

3am | 2c

Home Town

4am | 3c

Home Town

5am | 4c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.