Last Minute Spring Planting: 10 Annuals You Can Plant Now

Last Minute Spring Planting: 10 Annuals You Can Plant Now

Kate Legere
May 29, 2012

Worried that you missed the spring planting season? Fear not. Carmen DeVito from Groundworks says there are many plants that shine when the sun hits its highest — you just have to be savvy when shopping for them. Below are 10 of her favorites for the procrastinating gardener.

TOP ROW: For Sun
1. Dahlias: when the rest of the garden plants are tired, these beauties come into their glory; you will get tons of cut flowers to boot, in every shade of the rainbow!
2. Verbena bonariensis: tall, airy and looks good with everything. Sound like a super model? Well it is. Did I mention it attracts butterflies?
3. Evolvulus: awful name, but it's a bullet proof plant. It can take the heat and the sun of the scorching city summer streets, and blooms its head off.
4. Gomphrena: heat loving, and wonderful for bouquets all summer long.
5. Calibrachoa million bells: think the name says it all, and no, they are not petunias. Blooms like crazy 'til frost.

BOTTOM ROW: For Shade or Part Shade
For those of you who have gardens in the shade (and so many city and apartment dwellers do), fear not – you can forgo the lowly impatiens. There are hot plants that can light up your garden, but you have to be a savvy shopper; mail order is a good choice if your local garden center has no interesting choices. Seek these beauties out, and you won't be disappointed:
6. Abutilon: its common name is flowering maple, though you wouldn't guess it by its delicate and graceful looks. Available in lots of colors and forms, from weeping to upright.
7. Begonia rex: begonias get a bad rap as being hard to grow, although this is not true! Put them in filtered light, keep them slightly moist, and they will work hard for you all season. This one is called escargot, but there are dozens of lovely varieties that you can mix together in planters that will impress.
8. Coleus: there are hundreds of coleus available. Some are truly awful looking, but some, like black magic, inky fingers (pictured above), and wasabi, work great with each other and with other shade lovers like hostas and ferns. Use them to great effect when trying to fill in holes vacated by spring bulbs and other early bloomers.
9. Nasilla tenuissima: I like its common name mexican hair grass better. It's lovely in planters, and you can use it with larger leaved plants for a great textural contrast.
10. Farfugium aureomaculata: this is not a plant for the faint of heart, but its glossy leaves and leopard spot pattern will brighten up a shady garden.

Listen: Groundworks hosts a weekly show on Hertiage Radio Network.

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(Images: 1. Pop's Log Cabin, 2. Swallowtail Garden Seeds, 3. Missouri Botanical Garden, 4. Alan's Flower Farm, 5. White Flower Farm, 6. Dancing Oaks, 7. Buy Dis Or Dat, 8. White Flower Farm, 9. Edgwood Garden, 10. Pender Nursery)

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