Northern Prairie Annuals – Annual Flowers For West North Central Gardens

Annual Flowers
wnc annual
(Image credit: apugach)

If you live in America's Heartland, you may want ideas for West-North-Central annuals. The area is notable for its acres of farmland and many praised universities and colleges but is also home to some of the most dedicated gardeners around.

Spring triggers a bell, calling all those gardeners to start choosing annual flowers for West-North-Central garden beds. Those annuals must be tough, adaptable, and open to surprise.

Why Annuals for West North Central?

Northern prairie annuals are perfect plants for the western half of the Midwest. This area includes North and South Dakotas, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Minnesota, and Iowa. Not only can these areas have severe winters, but their summers bring brutal heat and powerful thunderstorms. That means annuals in the northern Rockies need to be durable, yet bring the beauty we all desire.

Perennials are great because they bloom every year like clockwork (provided they are in the right hardiness zone). The West-North-Central region experiences cold winters with plenty of snow, short springs, summers that sizzle with plenty of humidity, and a rather cool fall prone to freezing. That's quite a roller coaster of weather and many perennials aren't up to such extremes.

That's where annual flowers for the region come in. They need to be replaced every year anyway, and there are many that are up to such punishing conditions. Annuals also have a diversity of form and color that fit any garden’s needs.

Northern Prairie Annuals for Shade

Annuals fill in spaces vacated by plants that lose leaves in winter or die back. They are easy to grow transplanted or directly sown and last throughout the growing season. Blooming annuals provide flowers from spring until summer.

Shaded or partially sunny areas can be hard to find the right plants. Here are some suggestions for a low light garden in the region:

Sunny West North Central Annuals

Mixing in annuals with woody-stemmed plants and evergreen bushes, as well as perennials, creates a balanced garden that will have some interest year-round. When you develop a bed, remember that most annuals are not very tall and should be placed at the front of the bed, at borders, and around paths.

If the sight is sunny, select only plants that can tolerate some dryness and extreme heat. Some selections might include:

Bonnie L. Grant

Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.