Liven up your landscape this spring and summer with annual blooms. Add a bit of contrast to your green lawn, trees and shrubs. Annuals are an easy way to brighten any space. Here are some tips when choosing which annuals to plant.

  • Examine your area and determine how much sun or shade you have. If you have a landscape that’s mostly sunny all day, you’ll need to choose annuals that will take the sun. The same concept goes for landscapes that are mostly shady; look for annuals that tolerate shade well. Many people make the mistake of choosing what looks great at the nursery. You need to pick the right plants based on their sun and shade requirements.
  • Consider the correct shape and size. The space available for planting your annuals will help determine the correct shape and size of the plants for that area. If you’d like them in a container, you might choose something that will take less ground space, but will grow tall. If you want them to provide coverage for a landscape or flower bed, you might want to pick something that spreads.
  • Look for strong color combinations. Choose colors that compliment your landscape. For example, if you have a dark brick wall, choose colors like lime green or yellow that will pop when seen against it.

Once you’ve made your decisions and chosen annuals for your landscape, it’s time to plant. Whether in a container or a bed, make sure you have nice soil that drains well.

When taking your plants out of their plastic containers, loosen up the roots so they’ll spread out. This is important since the roots tend to grow around each other in the container. Plant them so the base of the plant is even with the soil.

Water them well. For the first few weeks, you’ll need to water them often to make sure they don’t dry out too much. Once your plants become established, water as needed when the soil feels dry. Fertilize every four to six weeks. A water-soluble fertilizer works best.

For more information on the best annuals for Georgia landscapes, contact your local extension office for a publication, or check online at

Sarah E. Brodd

Sarah E. Brodd is a Natural Resource Agent for UGA Extension in DeKalb County.