New Annuals for 2013 Bring Color to Your Garden

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dwarf morning glory "blue my mind" varietyMost people know that annuals are plants that survive for just one growing season, like vegetable plants for gardens such as corn, lettuce and beans. But savvy gardeners understand the valuable role that annuals play in adding color and variety to their flowerbeds. And so they are always looking for new varieties to try. The spring of 2013 does not disappoint. There are a number of exceptional annual plants for your garden debuting this year. Be sure to ask at your nursery if you don’t see these varieties.

Blues to Choose

The Evolvulus “Blue My Mind” dwarf marigold (left) is one such flower. This heat-tolerant annual from Proven Winners can work as a ground cover or container plant, and comes in a pure blue that will complement any garden. Another blue groundcover is the “Hot Springs” Lobelia from Ball FloraPlant. This is also a heat-tolerant annual, with small white-eyed blue flowers. Although blue is one of the most popular colors, this flower also comes in white and lavender-pink.

Purple Petunias

coleus marooned varietyPetunias are the workhorses of the annual flowerbed, and this year Burpee brings us a spectacular one, the “Blue a Fuse” petunia.  Don’t let the name confuse you. This annual has a rainbow of purple, blue, yellow and white on display, that will make it a favorite in any landscape.  Angelonia “Serenita” snapdragons from PanAmerican Seed come in several different pastel shades, violet included. Their beauty belies the toughness of these flowers, which resist heat, drought, deer and rabbit alike, making them a  great option for Georgia gardeners.

In a different vein are the Colorblaze “Marooned” coleus plants by Proven Winners (right). These coleus thrive in sun and shade, and can grow up to three feet tall. Their deep wine-colored foliage complements blues and pinks, and adds dramatic color to shady gardens as well. Although coleus are annuals, this variety can be adapted as a houseplant as well.

Powerful Pinks

Picasso in Pink variety petuniaThere are always plenty of pink annuals to choose from. The Lanai “Candy Cane” verbena is named appropriately: its remarkable stripes of pinkish red on white give the plant the appearance of peppermint candy. It looks great in baskets and planters as well as flowerbeds. This striped verbena, part of the award-winning Lanai series, provides mesmerizing beauty while being drought and powdery-mildew resistant. And it’s edible too!

Finally, the Supertunia “Picasso in Pink” petunia by Proven Winners (left) provides bicolor petunias that can cover a lot of ground in your garden. Bright pink, with a picotee chartreuse edge, these flowers provide a wonderful accent; for example, surrounded by whites and greens. They require a good deal of fertilizer, but with proper care are long-lasting.

Next time you visit your local garden center, keep a look out for these new varieties. They are all sure to be popular this summer.