Annuals are plants that live for just one year. They complete their lifecycle including flowering and setting seed and dying off within that time. Typically summer annuals germinate in spring, and provide flowers throughout spring and summer, setting seed in autumn and dying down in winter. Winter annuals are sown in late summer and planted in autumn.
In our gardens annuals are usually planted specifically for the visual beauty of their flowers, or as companion plants in the vege garden. Annuals need to be repeat planted every spring or autumn, so do take some planning and work. The reward is seasonal displays of colour.
What to grow
There are so many choices of what to grow. Because they flower for ages with minimum fuss, we love growing bedding begonias, Salvia farinacea ‘Victoria’ and Iceland poppies.
Visit our plant database for the easiest annuals to grow in Auckland.
How to plant
Most annuals prefer a sunny position with well-drained soil. In heavy soils, add compost prior to planting. A few will tolerate some shade such as impatiens, tuberous begonias and cinerarias. Incorporate some general fertiliser into the soil. Plant at the same depth as they were planted in their container and water in well. Apply regular deep watering in dry periods.
How to grow
Annuals are so short lived they don’t need much maintenance, other than watering, and planting into good soil. However, some annuals do require the regular removal of spent flowers to ensure prolonged flowering e.g. polyanthus, some salvias, zinnias, dahlias.
Top image: Iceland poppies (Papaver nudicaule)
Bottom image: Busy Lissie (Impatiens 'Accent Red')