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10 Best Annual Flowers that are Easy to Grow

As a busy gardener, you need low-maintenance plants. You want a beautiful yard with brightly colored garden beds, but don’t have the time or expertise to achieve the look you desire. Do yourself a favor and grow these easy annual flowers to guarantee success.

Contributors: Kerry Meyer
surefire begonia


SUREFIRE® Begonia benariensis
For colorful flowers all season in sun or shade, nothing is as versatile as Surefire Begonias. You’ll be impressed by their thicker, more durable stems and larger flowers that just keep on coming without deadheading. They are a great alternative to Impatiens in areas that are prone to downy mildew. Use these annual flowering plants in mono containers, combos, or landscapes. At 1 to 2 feet tall and wide, Surefires are nice large plants.


SUPERTUNIA® Vista Petunia
The best petunia for landscapes. Hands down. Supertunia Vista varieties deliver outstanding performance over the entire growing season, lasting an extra month in southern states and well into fall in moderate climates. They are bred to flower earlier, grow taller and wider, and spread more vigorously than other petunias. No deadheading is needed for these plants to bloom from spring through fall. They do best in part sun to sun conditions – 4 or more hours of direct sun a day and grow up to 2 feet tall and 3 or more feet wide.


Gardeners have grown to love the Proven Winners line of thornless, seedless, odorless, non-sticky cleomes. They exhibit excellent heat, humidity and drought tolerance, bloom spring through fall and have minimal disease issues. They offer all-season color on very low maintenance plants. Cleome grows best in full sun – 6 or more hours of direct sun a day and grow up to 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide.  If they outgrow their container or spot in the garden or are looking bedraggled after a long season, they can easily be trimmed back to stimulate new growth and branching resulting in renewed and refreshed plants and even more flowers.


TOUCAN® Series Canna x generalis
If you love the look of tropical plants but need one that is as easy to grow as a petunia, try our Toucan Cannas, which come in four colors: Red, Rose, Scarlet and Yellow. They grow quickly to make bold thrillers in your large containers and thrive in landscapes too. Cannas flower like crazy all summer in warm climates where they love the heat, and are grown more for their bold foliage in northernmost climates where they bloom late in the season. Toucan varieties have lush foliage and bear warm-toned flowers that invite hummingbirds and bumblebees to come explore your garden.  They flourish in part sun to sun – 4 or more hours of direct sun a day, and grow up to 4 feet tall.


Cuphea are beloved for their heat tolerance and adaptability, working well in sunny landscapes where the plants get six or more hours a day of sun, or as a thriller in patio planters. Vermillionaire is packed with tubular orange flowers that are beloved by hummingbirds which flock to it. Compared to similar cuphea, Vermillionaire has glossier foliage, more vigor, better branching and much better flower coverage. Standing 2 feet tall and wide, it has great presence in the garden.


Diamond Frost®and Diamond Delight® look soft and wispy, but are some of the toughest plants you can find for your garden. Once you’ve planted them, they require almost no additional care if planted in landscapes. They are also the ultimate plant for combination containers where they will mix well with, literally, everything. They love heat, can handle drought and will bloom in sun or shade, although they will flower more heavily in sun. If you want easy, this is the plant for you.


PRINCE and KNIGHT Lobularia
Fragrant, vigorous, cold tolerant, all-summer blooming plants that require no special care aren’t exactly a dime a dozen, but these sweet alyssums fill the bill. Plant them in part sun to sun and don’t let them get too dry, and you’ll be rewarded with a fabulous display of fragrant blossoms for months on end. Standing just 4 to 8 inches tall but growing up to 4 feet across, they will cover a lot of ground and trail spectacularly from hanging baskets, mono containers and combination planters.

annual verbena


Meteor Shower® Verbena bonariensis
If you're looking for a long blooming annual that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, you've found your plant. These easy flowers do not need deadheading and since they set little seed, they won’t become invasive like most verbenas of this type. Heat and drought tolerance, as well as deer resistance, sweeten its appeal.


Rockin'® Salvia
Add color to your garden with these easy, trouble-free annual salvia flowers. They are compact, richly colored and will bloom all season without stopping. Once established in a pot or the garden, they are amazingly tough.

annual sunflower


Suncredible® Yellow Helianthus 
Sunflowers are among many gardeners' favorite annuals. This everblooming type has flowers about 4” across that don't need deadheading to continue blooming. It makes a great cut flower and is popular with pollinators. Plus, it is capable of growing in average, rich or poor soils and is tolerant of dry conditions once established.

Learn more from Proven Winners through these resources:

Article: Right Plant, Right Place

Pinterest: Easy Garden Plants

Video: Supertunia Vista Bubblegum – in Landscapes and Containers

Calculate how many annuals needed for your flower bed.


Patent info: Diamond Delight® Euphorbia hybrid 'INEUPDIDIAZ' USPP 26,848, Can 5,269; Diamond Frost® Euphorbia hybrid 'Inneuphdia' USPP 17,567, Can 2,830;

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