Container gardening tips: Planting annuals

Credit: Brand X Pictures/Home and Garden/Alison Miksch

Summer-flowering annuals are easy to grow, easy to care for and fast to perform

In sunny locations plant marigold, zinnia, dahlia, alyssum, geraniums, dusty miller, snapdragons, petunias, nasturtium, cosmos, portulaca, verbena, gaillardia and ornamental peppers.

For shadier locations try lobelia, fuchsia, begonia, impatiens and wandering jew.

For colourful foliage in containers try coleus, alternanthera and copperleaf.

The new dwarf sunflowers, which are 30 to 60 cm (12″ to 24″) tall, will bring a touch of sunshine to any corner of your patio or sundeck. Try a multi-stemmed variety like ‘Sundance Kid,’ with 10- to 16-cm (4″ to 6″) semi-double flowers in shades of bronze to pure yellow, for a very showy display.
– Judy Heyer

For great shade-loving foliage plants try single pot plantings of ferns, fatsia, English ivy and elephant ear (Caladium).

Sweet peas of all kinds (both climbers and dwarf varieties) can be grown in sunny containers. Climbers will need a deep container filled with rich, well-drained, moisture-retentive soil, while dwarf varieties will thrive in smaller pots.

Fuchsias are a great plant for both container plantings and hanging baskets. F. ‘Cascade’, F. ‘Hermiena’ and F. ‘Marinka’ have a trailing habit that’s perfect for baskets. Regular feeding will reward you with cascades of blooms.