The Q&A Archives: When to Plant Annual Flowers

Question: I just can?t wait to get out there and garden! At what temperature is it safe for me to plant annuals?

Answer: Different annuals have different tolerances to cold temperatures. First, determine your average last spring frost date (from your cooperative extension or a neighborhood gardener). Some annuals can tolerate a light frost and these can be planted a few weeks before your average last frost date. These include bachelor's button (Centaurea), pot marigold (Calendula), larkspur (Delphinium), watercress (Nasturtium), pansy, petunia, snapdragon, sweet pea (Lathyrus), and violet (Viola). Other annuals are tender and should be planted after all danger of frost is past. These include cockscomb, coleus, dahlia, impatiens, moss roses (Portulaca), sunflower, periwinkle (Vinca) and zinnia. Consult the plant tags at The Home Depot to help you make the right selections for your region.

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