At A Glance: Favorite Annual Plants

janet-craig-dracaena.jpgPlanting the annuals and containers is a very exciting time-and an exhausting one.  So in lieu of writing, I thought to just post some pictures of my favorite annual plants.  What makes them a favorite?  This glowingly green Janet Craig dracaena will thrive in very low light.

vista-petunias.jpgThe Vista series of petunia is very vigorous, even long into the fall.

Sept 9 2012 035White mandevillea vines produce large showy flowers, and the foliage is glossy and disease resistant.

Sept 24 011Persian Shield is a color like no other, and will grow to a large size in a partially shaded spot.

green 023Euphorbia Diamond Frost is like having a thousand tiny white lights dancing over the surface of a container planting.  Cirrus dusty miller has a velvety surface, and a beautiful texture. Petunias smell like summer.

coleus.jpg coleus are prized for the unusual color of their foliage, as are the variegated dwarf dracaena pictured above.

orange-punch-canna.jpgCannas grow big and tall, and come in a whole range of colors. Canna Orange Punch blooms profusely.

dahlias.jpgDahlias are the show girls of the annual world. They sport huge flowers in every imaginable color except blue. They are at their showy best in September and October. silverberry-petunia.jpgSilverberry petunias bloom profusely, and do not need deadheading.

mocha-velvet-coleus.jpgVelvet mocha coleus is a beautiful orangy brown

nicotiana.jpgAll of the nicotiana varieties are charming, and beloved by hummingbirds.  I grow them all.

verbena-bonariensis.jpgVerbena bonariensis is tall growing, and imparts a meadow like look to any in ground annual planting.

DSC08283Solenia begonias are easy to grow.  Just go easy on the water.  Are these my only favorites. Oh no. I like them all really.  They all have something different to recommend about them. Choosing which ones to grow depends somewhat on what you need from them.




  1. Abby Rupsa says

    What would you suggest for a Contemporary planting in a very sunny spot. I’m thinking Horsetail. Any other ones you love?

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Abby, I would look on google images for contemporary container plantings. You might see something you like. Best, Deborah

  2. Everything’s beautiful! What do you have growing with the white flowers on the top of your building?

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Donna, they are not white. They are misty lilac wave petunias. A very pale lavender and white mix. A favorite trailing petunia. Best, Deborah

  3. Starr Foster says

    All are lovely, but the white mandevillia with green and blue stole my heart!

  4. So that purple is a Verbena!!! Someone gave me some two years ago, it has multiplied (although not as much as I had hoped) and I love it. So now I will go out in search of more. It fits in so nicely in so many different spots.
    And those Cannas are spectacular! Ours do winter over very well here in central North Carolina so I’m trying to buy several different colors….
    Love all your combinations!

  5. WOW! Your shop looks like it’s dressed for a wedding. Beautiful.

  6. Deborah,
    I’m starting my roof top boxes and the heat is unbearably hot for me. Are there any specific annuals you can suggest that could handle the heat? I’m using Victoria Blue Salvia so far and that’s all I can think of that can tolerate the hot black tar roof with 8+ hours of sun each day! Watering is not an issue, but the heat is still overwhelming. Thanks for any suggestions.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Michael, I would think the wind on the roof is just as terrible as the heat. Like me, you will have to experiment.Try lots of things.Do not be discouraged by any failures. Angelonia loves hot weather. And annual vinca. Petunias thrive in hot weather. There are a lot of other choices. What will work for you may take some time to sort out. I am so pleased that you are planting the roof! Best, Deborah

  7. Your pics always make me feel like a “picture taking loser”

    Anyhow, love the dahlias, they scream summer to me. Like petunias smell like summer…right!?

    And gardenias always tell me a wedding is in the midst. Lovely photos.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Laura, I do not intend for any picture I take to make another feel like a looser! I try to take pictures that tell the story as clearly as possible. Be assured that I take thousands of terrible pictures! I just don’t post those. Summer, dahlias, and petunias-this sounds really good to me too.

  8. I love Euphorbia ‘Diamond Frost’, I wintered mine over from last year and it’s going like gangbusters after a hard cut back!

  9. Jo Oland says

    What do you do to make your Mandevilla grow so beautifully? I tried one this spring with no luck. It’s leaves all turned yellow and dropped. Too much water? Improper drainage? I had a sandy, potting soil mix. I am puzzled.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Jo, your plant was unhappy about something. All kinds of things can cause leaf drop. You need someone local to you to help you with solving the problem. Best, Deborah

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