Top 10 favorites

Westbrook, ME(Zone 5a)

My gardens are becoming more & more perennial and I'm finding I have very little space for annuals left. I do love my annuals though and there are some that I just HAVE TO grow every year (or almost every year). Lets see ... here are my top 10 "Favorites"...

1) Poppies - (maybe more for sentimental reasons than anything)
2) Petunias - I always plant petunias for baskets and containers - I love their non-stop blooming
3) Cleome - These are just easy... easy...easy
4) Tithonia (Mexican Sunflower) - I love these. They're big, bright and colorful and the butterflies love them
5) Verbena bonariensis - I know this is perennial south of me but I grow it as an annual. It's just different and I like it! I don't think my butterflies would forgive me if I didn't have it
6) Lavatera - Just darn pretty!
7) Nicotiana - Have to have some of this every year in some shape, form and color
8) Datura - Unusual around here and such a beauty
9) California poppies - these re-seed like a weed but they're great for trouble spots in poor soil
10) Zinnias - I like the smaller old fashioned zinnias rather than the big fatties. Non-stop bloom and great for cutting

What are the favorites you HAVE to grow?

Wentworth, SD(Zone 4a)

My top ten favorites are:
1. zinnias - all colors and heights
2. nicotiana- for the lovely smell and color
3. pansy- all of them
4. sunflowers- just so cheery looking
5. petunias
6. cosmos
7. cleome-really cool looking flower
8. datura
9. california poppies- such a pretty orange color
10. snapdragons
10 1/2. impatiens- I think might be my favorite for shade.
I find my garden going mostly perennial also. However, many of the plants that I have come back are just from reseeding. The cosmos, petunias (old-fashioned variety), california poppies, and zinnias with a little help have come back every year. Just love plants that can get along without much help from me. :)

This message was edited Monday, Jun 4th 3:32 PM

This message was edited Monday, Jun 4th 3:35 PM

My favorites right now probably are:

1. Datura
2. Marigold (sentimental reasons)
3. Sunflowers (family heirloom)
4. Cosmos
5. Zinnias
6. Love-in-a-mist (nigella)
7. four o'clock (I love their bushiness and hundreds of blooms!)
8. Poppies
9. Nasturtiums (they are so fun!!)
10. Morning glory (gasp!) I just love the look of those blooms!

We have lots of different gardens here, some are almost all perennials, and some are all annuals. In my big vegetable garden (16,000sqft) I have reserved the first 150x10' area for annual flowers. That's my fun experiment zone and I'm loving it! Next year I'm going to grow over a hundred different annuals in that spot, and see who I like the best.



Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

1. Pansies (sometimes I get a couple of years out of them)
2. sweet peas
3. snapdragons
4. poppies (they seed themselves)
5. morning glory (ditto)
6. sunflowers
7. cerinthe, Blue Kiwi
8. impatiens, doubles and singles in "cranberry"
9. portulaca
10.fuchsias in baskets

AuGres, MI(Zone 5b)

1. double impatiens
2. nicotania
3. lobelia (blue moon)
4. poppies
5. scarlet runner bean
6. calandula
7. cosmos
8. verbenea (red and purple)
9. wave petunias
10. dames rocket

northeast, IL(Zone 5a)

Every year my list of favorites changes a bit. For now my favorites are;
1. Million Bells (I love the 'Terre Cotta')
2. Dianthus (I found some called Raspberry Parfait that are gorgeous)
3. Snapdragons
4. Four O'Clocks (they reseed themselves every year)
5. Phlox
6. Petunias
7. Thunbergia
8. Ageratum (my daughter loves these)
9. Larkspur
10.Sunflowers (another vote from DD)

Agawam, MA

My favorites are also the ones that reseed, or that I can direct sow:
1. snapdragon
2. zinnia
3. cosmos
4. sunflower
5. poppies
6. larkspur
7. clarkia
8. marigold
The last two are probably not considered annuals, but I cannot leave them out over the winter, so I hope no one minds that I am taking the liberty of putting them on my list:
9. geranium
10. tuberous non-stop begonia

I am embarrassed to say that I have never grown datura, but after reading all the posts about how great they are, I'm sure that they will become one of my favorites. Thanks to this forum and everyone for giving me new ideas!


You'll love the Datura. It is so beautiful and a real eye catcher! Everybody who comes around always stops and asks about the Datura. I start them indoors, but once in the ground they take care of themselves.

Do a search on DG for Datura and you'll find lots of pictures.


Edgewood, MD(Zone 7a)

Oh I hate having to pick favs...can I pick them all? But if I HAVE to...I will. These are not in order of importance, but as I think of them.
Not all are flowers either! :-)

1. Basil
2. Lemon Verbena
3. Sunflowers
4. Johnny Jump Ups
5. Pansies
6. Verbena
7. Double Impatiens
8. Calendula
9. Cosmos
10. Zinnias


Cincinnati, OH(Zone 6a)

My favorite annuals tend to be ones that are fragrant or can be used as cut flowers:
1.Zinnias (of course)
6.Angilonia (love that fragrance)

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Okay, this list is subject to change at any time, but here are mine, in no particular order:

1. Portulaca (my grandma's favorite)
2. "Rosebud" zonal geraniums
3. Verbena bonariensis (an annual here in Zone 6)
4. Salvia farinacea
5. Perilla frutescens "Beefstake Plant" or "Wild Basil"
6. Cuphea (Mexican Heather) - one tough little plant that looks so delicate
7. Evolvulus (Blue Daze)
8. Zinnias (the old-fashioned "Cut and Come Again" type are another sentimental favorite, and the narrowleaf is such a performer!)
9. Weeping lantana
10. Lobelia (the itty bitty kind)

Hmmm, since these are all warm season annuals, can I have another 10 of cool season favorites???? Bellis perennis, pansies......okay I'll stop for now!

Toadsuck, TX(Zone 7a)

It's so haaard to choose only 10................drumroll..................
5} wax begonias
6} wave Petunias
Clap, Clap, Clap...the Texan is leaving this post.

Shavertown, PA(Zone 5a)


I read your information on Cleome. I saw t his flower recently and just fell in love with it. I was sorry to find out it is only an annual. However, you say it is easy to grow. Do y ou have any seed you would be will to share? I'd love to try some. Thanks, KathiLO

Ewing, KY(Zone 6a)

Like everybody eles its hard to narrow down 10 but here goes.
1. Cosmos
2. Zinnia's (always adds color)
3. Strawflowers ( good to cut and dry)
4. sunflowers(my daughters favorite)
5. Heliotrope (smells wonderful)
6.Torenia ( this was a new one for me this year)
7.Thunbergia ( this was a first with this one too... love it)
8.Purple ruffles basil ( beautiful colored foilage and smells good too)
9. Malabar- Basella Rubra- beautiful vine fast growing and edible too.
10. Statice- good for dried flowers
These are not in order of preference but just ones I like.

Ottawa, ON(Zone 4a)

1) Portulaca. This is pure fanaticism, as I have a small shady yard and need to plant them in a pot in order to get them enough sun, and preferably move it to follow the sun.

2) Impatiens - handles my shady yard and heavy soil. Love the doubles.

3) Balsam (impatiens balsamina) - something different and easy. And it even reseeds itself.

4) Marigolds, preferably dwarf and bright yellow. Although next year I want to do a bronze-themed bed, with bronze-leafed wax begonias, coleus with the mahogany colouring and the orange and mahogany marigolds with something light-leaved, either balsam or coleus, for contrast.

5) Coleus.

6) Wax begonias

7) Poppies

8) Bachelor buttons

9) African daisies - not enough sun here for them, but they're great!

10) California poppies.

Circleville, OH(Zone 8b)

1)Panseys all colors
2)Ageratum blue
3)Lobelia Blue
4)Lobelia white
5)Geraniums red
7)Zinnia all colors
8)Salvia Red
9)Petunia Blue
10)Marigolds White


(Zone 7a)

I choose my favorite annuals by picking those the grasshoppers won't eat. Unfortunately, annuals start to bloom here about the same time the grasshoppers and heat arrive. Those that perform for me despite these plagues:
1. Snow on the prairie
2. Celosia spicata
3. Globe amaranth (especially Strawberry Fields)
4. Cleome serrulata
5. ammi majus
6. larkspur
7. poppies
8. hollyhocks
9. nicotiana
10. 4 o'clocks

Carlinville, IL(Zone 5b)

Here's mine:

1) Nicotiana - I really like the cultivar 'HeavenScent'
2) Bright Lights Cosmos - if you haven't grown the yellow ones they are delightful - not as tall bloom early and a long time
3) Salvia - really a perennial of course but Victoria Blue, Coral Nymph, and that dark purple one are almost almost in my garden
4) Zinnias - my favs are the Splendor series from Park - BIG BIG zinnias that look like dahlias. The red and orange are lovely planted together with purples and burgandy foliage.
5) Penta - the red and pink ones are both wonderful in containers or the border
6) Basil - especially the big lettuce leafed one which is not only beautiful and great in cooking, it seems to hold up and stay looking nice better than the genovese sweet basil I used to grow
7) Sunflowers - really like the shorter bushy ones best
8) I, too enjoy datura and with the ease of taking cuttings with the brugmansia, I think of them as annuals.
9) Sun-loving coleus - what GREAT new plants these are! I have a new one called Red Ruffles this year and another apple lime green ruffled one - both are just beautiful and no deadheading.
10) I'm out of numbers and not plants - LOL. I love nasturtiums 'Alaska' and 'Empress of India', scaevola for it's remakable continuous blue bloom, and some of the ornamental hot peppers that are incredibly beautiful in containers. Love snapdragons, alyssum, candytuft, lobelia, too.

My # 1 got to have yearly: Bouganvillea,hot pink
2.Hibiscus,love the doubles,any color
3.Mandevilles, dark pink ones
4.Morning Glories,any color
5.4 O's ,any color but favorite is fuschia and don't have ,YET!
6.'Wandering' jew [a weed or not?, call it MM b/c blue bloom looks like MM ears,and has yellow eyes & whiskers ,even!
7.Moss Rose ,all colors
8.Cannas,cannas,red R my fav
9.Dianthus ,red
10.Periwinkles-dk pink

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)


It seems this is the ideal time of year to bump this thread.

Greenwich, OH

My favorites:
2.Japanese morning glorries
5.bachelor buttons
6.Monkey flowers

Springfield, OH(Zone 6a)

I'm trying to go perennial, but I just can't help myself, annuals are just too much fun! My favorites are: 1. zinnias, all kinds..2. marigolds. 3 rose moss. 4. celosia 5.gazania..6 dahlias (considered annual here) 7. cosmos . 8. impatients . 9. petunias . ornamental peppers..........and the greatest of all plants in the summer..... TOMATOES!!!!

(Arlene) Southold, NY(Zone 7a)

Tomatoes are #1 with us. Then shallots, dahlias (I'll go along with crash and consider them annuals), BASIL, impatiens, snapdragons, petunias, helichrysum, scaveola, calibrachoa and 11th would be stroblianthus. (It's early so please forgive any misspellings)

Cincinnati (Anderson, OH(Zone 6a)

Thanks for bumping this thread up, Pirl! There are some great ideas here for me. I never think of growing Petunias from seed and many of the others mentioned either.

Does everyone have green houses and hoop houses to get a jump on the growing season for annuals? My best results are with late season bloomers...

I don't have ten favorites yet, but I do have a few to mention:

1) tassel flower (fun to interplant with yellow verbenas)

2) sunflowers (the birds love 'em).

3) zinnias (I went shopping for some for the butterfly garden and couldn't find any in the garden centers--are they out of fashion now?)

3) rudbeckia hirta 'prairie sun' (treated as an annual here--love it and couldn't find it in the stores either so have to grow my own this year)

4) asclepias currassivica (tropical milkweed) 'silky gold' or 'silky red' (treated as an annual here--indespensible for the monarch butterflies and pretty, too.)

5) Mexican Hat-Ratibida columnaris I think they're cute and give interest in the late summer garden.

6) Tithonia 'Torch' or 'Fiesta del Sol' for the butterflies in late summer.

7) Verbena 'bonarienses', again something for the butterflies and a fun 'filler' with the milkweed, tithonia and asclelpias.

And that's it for now! Only seven but ... I can't wait to try some of those listed above. ---I'll get the basil seed in the ground this afternoon!

Divernon, IL(Zone 5b)

4 o'clocks
Poppies (California & somniferum)
Strobilanthes (Persian Shield)

Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

#1 Impatiens

Thumbnail by DaleTheGardener
Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

#2 Pelargoniums

Thumbnail by DaleTheGardener
Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

#3 Angelonia

Thumbnail by DaleTheGardener
Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

#4 Portulaca oleracea

Thumbnail by DaleTheGardener
Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

#5 Hybrid Coleus

Thumbnail by DaleTheGardener
Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

#6 Gaillardia

Thumbnail by DaleTheGardener
Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

#7 Coreopsis tinctoria

Thumbnail by DaleTheGardener
Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

#8 Hybrid Marigold

Thumbnail by DaleTheGardener
Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

#9 Pansy (Viola)

Thumbnail by DaleTheGardener
Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

#10 Cyclamen Hybrids (annual here)

Thumbnail by DaleTheGardener
Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)

I find it hard to limit myself to 10, but, time to get off to work.

Thumbnail by DaleTheGardener
Cincinnati (Anderson, OH(Zone 6a)

dale, Jeesh--did you grow all those flowers from seed? What a riot of bloom! From the pics I'd guess you are in the gardening business somehow?

And I am wondering what the orange flower is in your last pic?

Tampa, FL(Zone 10a)


I am Dale, a Gardener (for hire). I didn't start any of the above plants from seed. Some of those photos were taken at the wholesalers and then edited. Other were taken in the gardens I work on, the only photo from my home was the coleus. I don't have a 'garden' I just have lots of stuff in pots, I live in a rent house.

The orange flower is Epidendrum hybrid orchid. I buy them at wholesalers or get them shipped in from growers.

I have a digital camera that hold over 3,500 photos on a card. I have photos of everything I see that looks interesting. Gardening is a visual art after all.

Thumbnail by DaleTheGardener
Menasha, WI(Zone 5a)

My favorite annuals that I start from seed are zinnias,calendula,bush morning glory(convolus sp),cosmos,sunflowers,strawflower, soft rudbeckias.

Painesville, OH(Zone 5b)

This is like trying to pick favorite flavors of ice cream...hmm..well, since everyone else is doing it, I'm going to consider anything not hardy to zone 5 an annual. With that said:

1. Tie--coleus and dahlias...I'm becoming an addict of both
2. Pansies
3. Thunbergia alata
4. Million bells
5. Lobelia (electric blue)
6. Verbena x hybrida
7. Bicolored lantana
8. peony-flowering poppies
9. larkspur
10. snapdragons


Post a Reply to this Thread

Please or register to post.

Upload Images to your reply

    You may upload up to 5 images