Annual flowers must be set out or seeded every year. They are inexpensive, easy to grow and produce instant color. The following hints may help save time and money as you add these colorful plants to your landscape.

  • Plant annuals in blocks of color instead of single file like toy soldiers. Consider flower and/or foliage colors before planting.
  • Use white flowers in the landscape. White is often overlooked, when choosing plant color.
  • Be sure to plant at the right time for the area. Availability of an item does not always mean that it is the proper time to plant it. Check with a local nursery, extension office or regional gardening books.

Joe Helen McGee, former Smith County Master Gardener
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service


Here are some planting tips to make the effect even more striking.

Think in odd quantities of plants – in threes, fives, etc., rather than even numbers – for small groupings or moderately wide borders. By planting this way you will eliminate open spaces when viewing straight on.

This method can also be used for larger mass plantings. For larger plantings, try to avoid squares or rectangles. True circles are fine in formal arrangements, but consider ovals, kidney, squash or teardrop shapes for a less formal setting. These irregular shapes will allow your eye to focus on the larger area of each bed first. Then your eye will follow along the narrower section, gently moving to the nearest irregular shape.

When planting with these shapes, you will quickly see how well they nest with each other. And finally, you can help “lead the eye” gently along your beds and borders by avoiding alternating plant colors! Happy gardening.

Jim Martin, former Smith County Master Gardener
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Posted in Annuals