Guide To Spring Annuals For Western Gardens

Lynn Coulter
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mixed flowers

 

Plant spring annuals for a rainbow of color in your Western garden. Lemon-yellow petunias, gold Gerbera daisies, violet-blue Nemesias and pink impatiens are gorgeous in beds and borders or containers and hanging baskets. Image above: Proven Winners/Supertunia Raspberry Blast, Supertunia White, and Verbena Superbena Purple

If you live where the summers are cool and the skies are often overcast, such as coastal California, start your growing season with cool-weather annuals like calendulas, pansies, primroses, and snapdragons. Once the heat kicks in, replace them with calibrochoas, petunias, marigolds, and zinnias.

After transplanting your annuals, water them as often as needed, which may be daily until they become established. After they develop strong roots, you can usually cut back. 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. Plant selections and arrival dates will vary by store.

From Vigoro:

  • New Guinea impatiens – These shade-loving, easy to grow annuals produce beautiful, vibrant flowers. 

Gerbera daisy

 

  • Gerbera daisies – Gerberas come in cheerful colors, including yellow, red, salmon, orange, pink, and white. They prefer full sun to part shade.
  • Fuchsias – Grow these hummingbird magnets in the shade, and keep their roots moist, but not soggy. Their graceful, arching branches make them ideal for hanging baskets and containers.

From VIVA!

  • Sunpatiens – Looking for 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.

petunias

Image: Floragem LLC/Rhythm and 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, too). Give them lots of water and full sun and the plants will grow to 12″.

Floragem LLC Ragtime Petunias

 

Image: 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-loving annual a standout. Give it moist soil with good drainage in a garden or container.
  • Scentsational Lavender – This lavender hybrid will perform even in hot or humid climates where traditional lavenders falter. It’s rich in essential oils, so you can enjoy its fragrance in your garden or in dried bouquets.  Has a neat, mounding habit and silvery leaves.

From Proven Winners:

  • Bacopa – This selection’s fluffy, white blossoms will help you remember its name: Snowstorm Giant Snowflake. Hardy to zones 9 – 11, it tolerates full sun to part shade and doesn’t need deadheading. Grow it alone or as a “spiller/filler’ for baskets and pots. 

Proven Winners Superbells Lemon Slice

Image: Proven Winners/Superbells Lemon Slice Calibrachoas

  • Calibrachoa – Calibrachoas bear flowers that look like baby petunias. They’re heat tolerant and disease resistant. Feed them monthly and water when the top of the soil feels dry. They’re hardy to zones 9a to 11b and cascade beautifully from baskets–or let them spread in your garden. Hummingbirds love them! Calibrachoa Superbells Lemon Slice, shown above, has flowers with pinwheels of snowy white alternating with lemon yellow.

Superbells Pomegranata Punch Proven Winners

Image: Proven Winners/Superbells Pomegranate Punch Calibrachoas

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

Proven Winners

Image: Proven Winners/Superbells Strawberry Punch Calibrachoas

Calibrachoa Superbells Strawberry Punch has rich pink petals highlighted by dark strawberry centers.

  • Symphony Osteospermum – Also called African daisies, osteos grow 8-14″ high and trail to 24″. Give them good drainage and water when the soil on top feels dry. Look for Lemon Symphony, with clear yellow petals and blue “eyes.” Osteo colors also include melon, peach, orange, and vanilla.
  • Nemesia – Many blue, white, pink, peach, and plum-colored nemesias have a sweet, subtle fragrance, which adds to their charm. Give them part to full sun and average water.

petunias

Image: Proven Winners/Supertunia Vista Bubblegum Petunias

  • Petunia Supertunia Vista Bubblegum – Grows tall and spreads 2-3′ in your garden; this plant is 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.

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