Cold Climate Annuals: Learn About Growing Annuals In Zone 3

By Mary H. Dyer, Master Naturalist and Master Gardener

Zone 3 annual flowers are single season plants that don’t have to survive the climate’s sub-zero winter temperatures, but cold hardy annuals face a relatively short spring and summer growing season. Keep in mind that most annuals will grow in zone 3, but some are able to establish quicker and produce blooms sooner.

Annual Plants for Zone 3

Luckily for gardeners, even though summers are short, cold climate annuals manage to put on a real show for several weeks. Most cold hardy annuals can tolerate a light frost, but not a hard freeze. Here is a list of beautiful cold climate annuals, along with a few tips for growing annuals in zone 3.

Zone 3 Annual Flowers for Sunlight

Annual Plants for Zone 3 Shade

Growing Annuals in Zone 3

Many zone 3 gardeners like to take advantage of self-sowing annuals, which drop seeds at the end of the blooming season, and then germinate the following spring. Examples of self-sowing annuals include poppy, calendulaand sweet pea.

Some annuals can be grown by planting seeds directly in the garden. Examples include California poppy, Bachelor’s button, black-eyed Susan, sunflower and forget-me-not.

Slow-blooming annuals like zinnias, dianthus and cosmosmay not be worth planting by seed in zone 3; however, starting the seeds indoors gives them an earlier start.

Pansies and violas can be planted early in spring, as they tolerate temperatures a few degrees below freezing. They generally continue to bloom until arrival of hard freezes.

More Information about Zone 3
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