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Annual Flowering Plants in Mississippi

No other group of flowering plants provides as much color as quickly and economically as annuals. Annual plants sprout from seed, flower, set seed, and die within one season. Many flowers, vegetables, and herbs are planted every year as annuals. Other plants may live longer in their native lands, but do not survive the heat or cold of the mid-south and are best treated as annuals.

Most annuals are planted in spring and are killed by frost in the fall. However, some, including pansies, ornamental cabbage, and dill are tolerant of our winters and are best planted in the fall for color throughout the winter. These are usually killed by the heat of early summer.

Columbines, such as this Aquilegia Swan blue and white, can thrive in Mississippi landscapes when treated as an annual.Some annuals, such as gomphrena, cosmos, and coreopsis reseed themselves, yielding several years of pleasure with minimal care. Annuals come in a variety of colors, heights, and textures, and their uses are almost unlimited. Unbeatable in masses of solid or mixed colors, annuals are also very effective in small groups or used to soften lines and accent borders.

Many annuals, especially compact varieties, are well suited for containers. Large annuals may be used as specimen or accent plants along the back of a flower or shrub border. Some annuals are vines that may be grown on fences, arbors, porch rails, or trellises.

Annuals are inexpensive, especially when grown from seed. However, they do require soil preparation, fertilization, irrigation, weeding, and pest control. Most are native to semiarid regions of the world and require full sunshine to survive.

Species such as impatiens are native to dark woodland floors and flourish in shady sites, such as covered patios, narrow courtyards, or heavily wooded sites.

Annual gardens are easily established in the smallest and most restrictive of spaces as well as the harsh conditions of a large suburban garden. Their relatively shallow root systems require only a modest amount of soil. Gardeners with sizable yards quickly learn the trick of planting one or two easy-to-grow beds of massed annuals to decorate patios, walks, or pools. Apartment dwellers can achieve a splash of color with a few well-placed pots, wash tubs, or planter boxes of annuals.

Annuals that need full sun, such as periwinkle and marigold, grow and flower best when they receive at least 4 to 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. Woodland species perform best under partial to heavy shade.

Prevent root diseases and other problems associated with waterlogged soil by avoiding areas where water stands after a heavy rain. Also avoid areas near large trees and shrubs that may have many greedy, thirsty feeder roots.

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A man sits at a table with books.
Filed Under: Flower Gardens May 17, 2022

Mississippi author, host and columnist Gary Bachman will be a featured guest in October at the 2022 Louisiana Book Festival presenting his book, “Southern Gardening All Year Round.”
 Bachman is host of the Mississippi State University Extension Service’s Southern Gardening television show and author of the weekly Southern Gardening newspaper column.

A container is filled with red blooms on stems.
Filed Under: Flower Gardens May 16, 2022

May is one of my favorite months in the garden and landscape because so many plants are just starting to hit their stride. Bright-green, new foliage seems to be everywhere among my many hibiscuses and other flowering shrubs. One of my May favorites is the daylily.

Three yellow shrubs grow in front of white railing.
Filed Under: Flower Gardens May 9, 2022

I visited my daughter who lives in Augusta, Georgia, during the Christmas holidays to help her landscape her new house. I thoroughly enjoyed our trip to the garden center, picking out great plants that would perform well in her landscape. The best of what we bought that day in December was the Sunshine Ligustrum.

A reed-like plant has delicate white blooms.
Filed Under: Flower Gardens May 2, 2022

One of the most confusing things when reading about plants in the landscape or talking to other gardeners about them is the use of common names. White it is understandable that we use common names -- remembering and using botanical Latin is hard -- it does lead to confusion. Some plants have two or more common names, and there are other instances where two different species have the same common name. For example, consider the common name, spider lily.

White and pink native azaleas.
Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture, Smart Landscapes April 25, 2022

There’s no plant more iconic in the springtime than azaleas. Their bright, colorful blooms are exactly what we need to welcome the warm weather after a dreary winter. 

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Community, Leadership, Master Gardener, Coronavirus, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens
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