AUBURN, Ala. -Planting annual flower beds can bring bright color and sweet fragrances to your yard. Homeowners looking to enhance their landscape have several choices of annual flowers to do the job. Since annuals last only one season, you can redesign the color and arrangement of your flower beds each year. This constantly gives homeowners new and bold colors in their landscape, which will make it the talk of the town.
Choosing Bedding Plants
When choosing bedding plants, it is ideal that the plants have a few key characteristics. Look for the following characteristics when deciding on what annuals to plant.
- blooms quickly after planting
- free of insects or diseases
- tolerant to heat and drought
- continues to bloom for a long time
- have attractive flowers and foliage that suit your design purpose
- is appropriate for your planting zone
Sallie Lee, an Alabama Extension regional agent in home grounds, gardens and home pests, said that knowing what plants are appropriate in your planting zone is extremely important.
“A planting zone covers how hot and cold temperatures are in the particular zone. For example, here in Jefferson County, we’re in zone 7-B, while Mobile and that area is zone 8 or 8-B,” said Lee. “So, before purchasing and installing bedding plants, be sure they will be happy in that particular planting zone.”
Gardeners might also want to plant species of annuals that are showy. Flower species such as geraniums, dahlias, cockscomb celosias and plume celosias can make up several beds.
Add a bit a variety in your flower beds by mixing and matching different types of flowers. For instance, you can create one bed by combining old and new varieties of zonal type geraniums with ivy-leaf geraniums. In another bed, fill it with dahlias using plants started from seed or tubers. This will give your flower beds and interesting and beautiful look.
Designing Annual Beds
Lee offers these suggestions for designing annual beds:
- A bed of drought-tolerant annuals can include species of amaranthus, portulaca and pennisetum.
- Plant edible ornamentals such as ornamental peppers or teddy bear sunflowers.
- Put fragrant plants such as scented geraniums and basils in a bed by themselves or intersperse them with other plants.
- If you like to design cut flower arrangements, plant a bed of globe amaranth, strawflowers, statice, eucalyptus and baby’s breath.
- Plant a vine bed. Annual species such as moon vine, blackeyed susan vine and monastery bells (Cobaea) are easy to grow and grow aggressively. Erect small structures to support the vines or use vines as a groundcover to fill in bare areas in the garden or landscape.
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