17 annual flowers that are easy to grow and bring fresh color to your summer garden

Summer annuals are easy to grow and will bring life to your garden regardless of its size. They can also be grown in pots if you don’t have enough space.

In this article, we’ll discuss 17 of the best sun annuals that will bloom all summer to add life and color to your garden.

What Are Full Sun Annuals?

These are flowers that can tolerate full exposure to the sunlight. All plants and flowers need the sun but only a few can tolerate its strength during the heat of summer.

Here are 17 of the best colorful and pretty sun annuals that you can grow in your garden.

1. Marigolds

The colorful pop of orange is a great addition to any garden, but Marigolds also come in yellow and red shades. They repel pests, so they’re usually planted around veggies.

They need full sun and well-drained soil and can grow from zones 2 through 11, but only in the warm seasons. Seeds germinate in a few weeks starting from mid-April and the flowers can be either as short as 6 inches or as tall as 2 feet.

2. Petunias

Characterized by their mesmerizing purple color, Petunias can grow in partial shade but will fully bloom in direct sunlight reaching a height of 15 inches. They have very big flowers and can be grown in hanging baskets.

They’re native to Argentina and will bloom from spring to fall in zones 9 through 11. Deadheading and stem pruning might be necessary to keep your Petunias blooming.

3. Lisianthus

These flowers have big funnel-shaped petals that are either purple, bluish, lavender, deep purple, or pale pink. They can reach a maximum height of 30 inches and can also be grown in pots. They bloom well in all USDA hardiness zones.

4. Zinnias

Zinnias attract butterflies and hummingbirds due to their bright colors. They’re quite easy to maintain and can withstand extreme heat so they can grow in hardiness zones 3 through 11.

They will start blooming in late spring until the first frost. Flowers bloom in shades of red, pink, yellow, orange, white and green. Some of the dwarf species grow to the height of 6 inches. Giant ones can reach a maximum height of 4 feet.

5. Begonias

Begonias will start blooming in mid-June but will keep on growing until frost in USDA zones 9 through 11 as long as the soil is moist. They’re cold-sensitive and can reach a height of 12 feet.

The flowers come in shades of white, pink, and red and grow well in flower beds and hanging baskets. They’re toxic to pets and can be allergic to humans.

6. Pentas

These colorful star-shaped flowers attract hummingbirds as well as butterflies while keeping your garden colorful and lively. They can reach a maximum height of 36 inches at maturity and will last all summer with no issues.

They grow in hardiness zones 9 and 10 and require plenty of water, but the soil should be well-drained. They are native to Africa and Arabia and are common in butterfly gardens.

7. Celosia Spicata

These flowers come in deep shades of red, burgundy, yellow and orange. They’re widely spread in zones 3 through 11 as they’re native to Africa, Asia, North America, and South America.

They start blooming in the summer until the first frost and will last for 8 to 10 weeks. The plant reseeds itself abundantly and doesn’t require much maintenance, reaching a maximum height of 12 inches.

8. Poppy Flowers

Gardening enthusiasts love these colorful Northern-Hemisphere flowers that grow well in zones 3 through 11. They can grow up to 8 feet and will blossom all summer, adding colorful hues to your gardening space.

Poppy flowers tolerate a couple of hours of shade and can grow in sandy soil or pots. They’re perfect for landscape designs because they come in lively shades of deep orange, fiery red, blush pink, pale pink, salmon pink and icy white.

9. Sweet Alyssum

These flowers blossom with full sun exposure but can use a little shade from the strong midday sunlight. They start blooming in spring until the first hard frost in zones 2 through 11. The roots can easily rot if the soil is overly moist.

Most of these white flowers will grow up to 4 to 6 inches high. Some varieties are pale pink and fewer ones have purple petals.

10. Ageratum

Also known as floss flowers, these flowers come in shades of blue, violet, pink, and white. They grow in all types of soil in hardiness zones 2 through 12 as well as in containers. They grow in shapely mounds that attract butterflies and reach a maximum height of 24 inches.

11. Spider Flowers

These flowers have spider-like petals that start blooming from June attracting butterflies and hummingbirds throughout the whole season. The petals are white, pink, lavender, rose or purple.

Spider flowers are native to South America but grow well in hardiness zones 2 through 11, reaching a height of 60 inches. They usually self-seed and require little maintenance. A space of 18 inches should be left between the germinating seedlings.

12. Sweet Peas

Sweet peas are native to the eastern Mediterranean region and produce a lovely fragrance. They come in various shades of red, pink and purple.

They can reach a maximum height of 9 feet, but there are other species that can grow in pots to reach a height of 20 inches. They grow well in hardiness zones 8, 9 or 10.

13. Impatiens

These can last through the fall and winter of hardiness zones 9, 10, and 11. They’re usually as short as 1 foot and come in a variety of bright colors including red, white, violet, purple, and even yellow. However, some flowers reach a height of 3 feet. They’re native to Europe, Africa, and Eurasia.

14. Geraniums

Geraniums love the sun, but they will appreciate the afternoon shade. They grow well in hardiness zones 9 through 12. Most flowers grow up to a height of 24 inches, although dwarf species will never grow higher than 6 inches. They come in a wide range of colors, but the most common ones are red, pink, orange, purple, and white.

15. Cosmos

These flowers have orderly arranged pink, red, white, lavender or orange-yellow petals, neatly gathered around a yellow center. They’re drought tolerant so they grow well in zones 6 through 10.

Cosmos have a long growing season, so they’re likely to add color to your autumn garden. They reach an average height of 12 inches.

16. Calibrachoas

These flowers grow in the soil or any container. They bloom in spring, summer, and fall and come in rich shades of coral, yellow, orange, red, pink, purple, lavender, and burgundy. Calibrachoas are native to South America and will grow in USDA hardiness zones 9 through 11.

17. Vincas

These colorful butterfly magnets grow in beds, borders, containers and as ground covers in hardiness zones 4 through 9. They come in various shades of pink, red, and purple, although the most common ones are rose. Vincas are native to Madagascar and can reach a maximum height of 12 inches.

Full sun annuals are spectacular and most of them are pretty easy to care for. Pick the ones that you like and enjoy their long-lasting beauty


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