Nothing adds season-long color to the landscape like flowering annuals. Unlike perennials, which have a specific blooming season, annuals often flower soon after transplanting and usually continue blooming until killed by fall frosts and freezes.
Annual flowers for Central Region
If you live in the Ohio Valley or Central region, annuals can be used to bring color to flowerbeds as border plants, in planters, and hanging baskets. Central region and Ohio Valley annuals can be chosen for their flower color, plant height, and growth requirements.
Since these flowers are only grown for one season, winter hardiness is not a primary consideration when selecting species. Many times, these plants are started indoors much the same as garden vegetables. Annual flowers can be transplanted outside once the danger of frost has passed.
Additionally, many perennial flowers are grown as annuals in the Central region and Ohio Valley. These flowers survive winters in tropical or subtropical climates but may not be winter hardy in the colder climate of northern states.
Ohio Valley and Central Region Annuals
When choosing annual flowers, match the sun and soil requirements of the plants to the specific location in the flowerbed. Try planting taller annuals in the back and shorter types along walkways and borders. Using a variety of plant shapes and foliage patterns adds to the visual appeal.
To create a visually stunning garden, try choosing species by their flower color. You can pick variations of a single color palette such as the lavender of alyssum, the deeper purple of petunias, or the various hues of cleome.
Combine colors to create a patriotic display using red salvia, white petunias, and blue ageratum. Or contrast colors with shapes such as the spikes of blue salvia with the round flowers of orange marigolds.
The best part about planting Central region and Ohio Valley annuals is the ability to change the design of the flowerbed each year. Here are popular annual flower choices for the region:
- African Daisy (Arctotis stoechadifolia)
- Ageratum (Ageratum houstonianum)
- Amaranth (Gomphrena globosa)
- American Marigold (Tagetes erecta)
- Alyssum (Lobularia maritima)
- Begonia (Begonia cucullata)
- Cockscomb (Celosia argentea)
- Celosia (Celosia argentea)
- Cleome (Cleome hasslerana)
- Coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides)
- Cornflower (Centaurea cyanus)
- Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus or sulphureus)
- Flowering Tobacco (Nicotiana alata)
- French Marigold (Tagetes patula)
- Geranium (Pelargonium spp.)
- Heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens)
- Impatiens (Impatiens wallerana)
- Lobelia (Lobelia erinus)
- Pansy (Viola spp.)
- Pentas (Pentas lanceolata)
- Petunia (Petunia spp.)
- Phlox (Phlox drummondii)
- Portulaca (Portulaca grandiflora)
- Blue Salvia (Salvia farinacea)
- Red Salvia (Salvia splendens)
- Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus)
- Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)
- Verbena (Verbena spp.)
- Vinca (Catharanthus roseus)
- Zinnia (Zinnia elegans)
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Laura Miller has been gardening all her life. Holding a degree in Biology, Nutrition, and Agriculture, Laura's area of expertise is vegetables, herbs, and all things edible. She lives in Ohio.