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Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area


Guide To Spring Annuals For Southern Gardens

Lynn Coulter
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Proven Winners Supertunias Raspberry Blast and White, Verbena Superbena Purple


Plant spring annuals to bring a rainbow of color to your Southern garden. Lemon-yellow petunias, gold Gerbera daisies, blue Evolvulus, and pink impatiens are gorgeous choices for beds and borders as well as containers and hanging baskets. Our tips will help you get started!

  • Wait until all danger of frost passes before planting warm-season annuals like impatiens, celosia, marigolds, and zinnias, and avoid planting when the ground is wet.
  • For best results, mix a complete fertilizer into the soil, or if you’re planting in containers, use a potting mix with fertilizer. Because the growing season in the South is longer than in other parts of the country, fertilize regularly, following product directions.
  • After transplanting, water your spring annuals as often as needed to help them develop strong roots, and remember that spring winds can dry out hanging baskets. In the garden, use a 2-4″ layer of mulch to help conserve moisture and prevent weeds from popping up.

Please note: Home Depot plants are selected for different geographical regions and climates to give you the best growing experience. Selections and arrival dates will vary by store.

From Vigoro:

  • Double impatiens – These shade-loving, easy to grow annuals have doubled blossoms that look like miniature roses.

Gerbera daisy

  • Gerbera daisies – You’ll find Gerberas in cheerful colors, including yellow, red, salmon, orange, and pink. They prefer full sun to part shade.


  • Verbena – Choose verbenas for long-lasting blooms in white, pink, mauve, red, purple, and apricot. These plants thrive in full sun for 8 to 10 hours a day and are ideal for hanging baskets, rock gardens, and window boxes.

From VIVA!

  • Sunpatiens – Want impatiens that can take heat and sun? These super-performers are a cross between traditional New Guinea impatiens and wild impatiens, reaching 18-30″ tall. Give them plenty of water and they’re easy to grow.

Floragem LLC Rhythm & Blues petunias

  • Rhythm and Blues Petunias – Jazz up your garden with these striking blue and white blossoms. They’re more heat tolerant than most petunias (and more cold tolerant). Give them lots of water and full sun and the plants will reach 12″ high.

Floragem LLC Ragtime Petunias

  • Ragtime Petunias – New for 2013, Ragtime features flashy magenta blooms bordered in snowy white.
  • Rococo New Guinea Impatiens – Ruffled blooms make this shade-lover a standout. Give it moist soil with good drainage.
  • Scentsational Lavender – This lavender hybrid performs in hot or humid climates where traditional lavenders falter. It’s rich in essential oils, so you can enjoy its fragrance in the garden or dried bouquets. Has a neat, mounding habit and silvery leaves.

From Proven Winners:

Proven Winners Snow Princess Lobularia, Superbells Blackberry Punch, & Supertunia Pretty Much Picasso

  • Snow Princess Alyssum (Lobularia) – Snow Princess is bred for Southern gardens. It prefers some afternoon shade, when the temperatures rise, and takes average watering. The honey-scented flowers trail to 24″ and grow 4-8″ tall, so they’re perfect for combining with other plants in baskets and containers.
  • Angelonia Angelface – These “summer snapdragons” are borne on 18-24″ stems that last for 10 days or more in bouquets. They like full sun and tolerate heat and drought. Look for them in blue, pink, and violet.¬†

Proven Winners Blue My Mind

  • Evolvulus Blue My Mind – A dwarf morning glory, Blue My Mind provides a rare blast of true-blue in the garden. It loves sun and needs average water as it trails to 24″ or reaches 6-12″ high. Feed with compost or a slow release fertilizer to keep the blooms coming.
  • Calibrachoa – Calibrachoas bear flowers that look like baby petunias on trailing stems. They’re heat tolerant and disease resistant. Feed them monthly and water when the top of the soil feels dry. They’ll cascade beautifully from baskets or spread in your garden. Hummingbirds love them!

Proven Winners Superbells Lemon Slice

Calibrachoa Superbells Lemon Slice has flowers with pinwheels of snowy white alternating with lemon yellow.

Proven Winners Superbells Pomegranate Punch

Calibrachoa Superbells Pomegranate Punch is new for 2013; its deep rose-red blooms have unique, black-red eyes.

Proven Winners Superbells Strawberry Punch

  • Petunia Supertunia Vista Bubblegum – Grows tall and spreads 2-3′; it’s Proven Winner’s #2 top-rated plant with gardeners. Use it for a pop of bright pink.
  • Petunia Supertunia Raspberry Blast – A bi-colored petunia with pink blooms edged in a deep cerise-violet. Heat tolerant, it’s a favorite of butterflies and hummingbirds.

Images: Proven Winners/Supertunias Raspberry Blast and White, Verbena Superbena Purple; Vigoro/Gerbera Daisy; MediaBank Verbena; Floragem LLC Rhythm and Blues; Floragem LLC Ragtime Petunia; Proven Winners Snow Princess Lobularia, Superbells Blackberry Punch, & Supertunia Pretty Much Picasso; Proven Winners/Blue My Mind; Proven Winners/Superbells Lemon Slice; Proven Winners/Superbells Pomegranate Punch; Proven Winners/Superbells Strawberry Punch

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