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Avatar for maddyd
Mar 29, 2018 11:10 AM CST

Hello everyone,

I am new to this forum. I would like to plant some no maintenance annuals. I have a lower back problem so although I love gardening, I cannot spend a lot of time doing it. Also, I am not very knowledgeable in this field. So hoping to ask questions from time to time.

Can someone suggest some beautiful annuals? I just want to plant them once and then just enjoy them every year.
I am in the Midwest. Thanks in advance.
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Mar 29, 2018 11:14 AM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Region: United States of America
Purslane Garden Art Region: North Carolina Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Portulaca and Purslane are both very easy - require little or no watering and no dead heading. They do require full sun.

If you only have shade, impatience would be good.

WELCOME to NGA Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION ~ Garden Art ~ Purslane & Portulaca ~ CUBITS ~ Trust in the Lord ~ Heart Strength ~

Avatar for maddyd
Mar 29, 2018 11:20 AM CST

Thanks a lot, Vic. I will try petunia.

I did put a lot of wildflower seed last year- it was a big bed of flowers, but was very uneven. Some plants very tall and some were small. So although people said it looked good, i did not like it. But that's just me being a perfectionist Smiling
Avatar for ZenMan
Mar 29, 2018 12:03 PM CST
Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
Annuals Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United States of America Seed Starter Keeper of Poultry Hybridizer
Hummingbirder Dragonflies Garden Photography Butterflies Zinnias Garden Ideas: Level 2
maddyd said:Thanks a lot, Vic. I will try petunia.

Hello maddyd, Welcome!
You do know that Vicki did not recommend Petunias, but Portulaca and Purslane. ???

ZM
I tip my hat to you.
Avatar for maddyd
Mar 29, 2018 12:06 PM CST

So sorry. Thanks for pointing that out. I proved that I am really dumb in this area.
Avatar for ZenMan
Mar 29, 2018 11:25 PM CST
Name: ZenMan
rural Kansas (Zone 5b)
Kansas 5b
Annuals Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United States of America Seed Starter Keeper of Poultry Hybridizer
Hummingbirder Dragonflies Garden Photography Butterflies Zinnias Garden Ideas: Level 2
maddyd said:So sorry. Thanks for pointing that out. I proved that I am really dumb in this area.

Hello maddyd, Welcome!
You are not dumb. That was just a simple mistake, and we all make them. I like to grow zinnias, but they do not qualify for your requirements of just planting them once and then just enjoying them every year. I spend a lot of time with my zinnias, and I breed them as a hobby. You can click on these photos to see larger versions of them.
Thumb of 2018-03-30/ZenMan/17487e Thumb of 2018-03-30/ZenMan/48fdfb
I am a senior citizen and I do not like to stoop or kneel to work on my zinnias, so I use one of those rolling tractor seats that make it handy to remain seated while working on my zinnias. This is a link to a description of the rolling seat that I use.

https://www.gardeners.com/buy/...

They also have a lower version that I may purchase to try that out.

ZM (not associated with any product or vendor mentioned or linked)
I tip my hat to you.
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Mar 30, 2018 3:52 AM CST
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
You are possibly in luck. Once you plant an annual, you get flowers all year. I think Marigolds are almost indestructable Zinnias are close, and Salvias next, with the Salvias providing bright red, the marigolds orange, and the Zinnias mixed colors.

You probably can't go wrong with those.

Thumb of 2018-03-30/Yardenman/90e7b8
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Mar 30, 2018 6:54 AM CST
Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Orchids Region: Pacific Northwest Region: Mexico Sedums Tropicals
I just want to mention, your post says you want to plant once and enjoy them year after year. Annuals are plants that grow quickly and put on a big show for one season. They do not return, like perennials do. If they do come back it will be from seed not from the plant, and there are some that will reseed well, but usually annuals have to be planted each year.

Nasturtiums are an easy going annual that often return year after year from the seeds they drop. They can grow in a garden bed or in pots.
Thumb of 2018-03-30/lauriebasler/7440c1

Snapdragons are another annual I have had return. That is all I have. It would be helpful to know your zone, as what grows and returns well in one zone may not in other zones. If you have any neighbors gardening I would ask them what their favorite annuals are.
I found Clarkia very easy and really lovely for cut flowers, I grew them from seed which was just a matter of dropping them in some light soil. Not hard work at all. They did not reseed for me, but so easy anyway, I had to mention them.

Welcome, and Good luck. It will be fun to see what you choose to grow.
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Mar 31, 2018 6:35 AM CST
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL โ˜ผ๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Butterflies
Garden Sages Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Level 1 Hummingbirder Foliage Fan
Hi & welcome!

Laurie has a good point, perennial plants live indefinitely. Annuals provide one garden-year of enjoyment, then are gone, either because they are true annuals that die after completing the cycle of blooming and producing seeds, or because they are not suited to permanent survival in the climate where sold and are killed by weather.

It sounds to me like you want perennials, not annuals. Relying on reseeding to keep the plants going year after year will mean that a lot of other seeds will be trying to sprout in the same area that is barren every spring. Not that planting perennials eliminate the need to remove unwanted sprouts, but each perennial plant stakes its' claim, and it's much less likely that other seeds will sprout in the same space.

If you are unable to bend, raised beds &/or tall containers might be the solution. Then you can plant whatever you want, whenever the weather allows.
The golden rule: Do to others only that which you would have done to you.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is now. (-Unknown)
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try! Try to be more valuable than a bad example.
Avatar for MindiHammerstone
Apr 22, 2018 8:46 PM CST
Name: Mindi Hammerstone
Tracy, CA (Zone 9b)
Dog Lover Dragonflies
Morning glories reseed themselves really well in my area. Tons of seeds. Nasturtiums also throw seeds around. With the morning glories they have to have something to climb up. While I believe that they are truly annuals, and with them throwing seeds I have even had them pop up in sidewalk cracks lol.๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€

๐Ÿ˜€

Mindi
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Apr 27, 2018 7:55 AM CST
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier
At my house, I have a number of annuals that return year after year.
The 'secret' is leave them alone... Don't cut off the flowers! Those seeds attract songbirds!
The goldfinches are at my garden now... They smelled the poppies...
They also like zinnias and sunflowers, both of which I see coming up... And..
Lots of cosmos and ... Cleome and 4 o'clock!

Thumb of 2018-04-27/stone/a11872

Cleome and hawk moth

By the way...
Planting morning glories could be a huge mistake for a southern gardener...
They took over a huge section of my previous garden, and nothing I could do about it.
At the new house, I'm sticking with night blooming impomea alba... Which is far less aggressive... Although... I do see seedlings...

Also... Plant cherry tomatoes... They should return... Certainly come back for me...
I even have some tiny variegated hot peppers that return from dropped peppers.
Last edited by stone Apr 27, 2018 8:05 AM Icon for preview
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May 3, 2018 1:20 PM CST
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Region: West Virginia Container Gardener Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
Gardens in Buckets Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
stone said:At my house, I have a number of annuals that return year after year.
The 'secret' is leave them alone... Don't cut off the flowers! Those seeds attract songbirds!
The goldfinches are at my garden now... They smelled the poppies...
They also like zinnias and sunflowers, both of which I see coming up... And..
Lots of cosmos and ... Cleome and 4 o'clock!

Thumb of 2018-04-27/stone/a11872

Cleome and hawk moth

By the way...
Planting morning glories could be a huge mistake for a southern gardener...
They took over a huge section of my previous garden, and nothing I could do about it.
At the new house, I'm sticking with night blooming impomea alba... Which is far less aggressive... Although... I do see seedlings...

Also... Plant cherry tomatoes... They should return... Certainly come back for me...
I even have some tiny variegated hot peppers that return from dropped peppers.


Reseeding is not possible for cosmos, cleome, zinnia, sunflowers, marigolds, or poppies in areas which have winters that are both cold and wet. Not sure where the original poster is from (there's no location listed that I can see), but just wanted to point this out because a lot of gardeners read that there's a secret or that these plants "should" reseed then, get mystified as to why they don't. It's not just the cold (they will reseed in colder, drier, places) but the combination of cold-and-wet which causes them to sprout, then rot.
Keep going!
Image
May 3, 2018 1:26 PM CST
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL โ˜ผ๐ŸŒทโš˜๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒป (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Butterflies
Garden Sages Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Level 1 Hummingbirder Foliage Fan
IDK about Cleome. This thick patch of seedlings happened in central OH, Z5b.
The golden rule: Do to others only that which you would have done to you.
๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ - SMILE! -โ˜บ๐Ÿ˜Žโ˜ปโ˜ฎ๐Ÿ‘ŒโœŒโˆžโ˜ฏ๐Ÿฃ๐Ÿฆ๐Ÿ”๐Ÿ๐Ÿฏ๐Ÿพ
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is now. (-Unknown)
๐Ÿ‘’๐ŸŽ„๐Ÿ‘ฃ๐Ÿก๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿโฆโง ๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‚๐ŸŒพ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒฝโ€โ˜€๐ŸŒบ
โ˜•๐Ÿ‘“ The only way to succeed is to try! Try to be more valuable than a bad example.
Image
May 3, 2018 1:33 PM CST
Name: Jai or Jack
WV (Zone 6b)
Om shanti om.
Region: West Virginia Container Gardener Multi-Region Gardener Garden Photography Amaryllis Zinnias
Gardens in Buckets Annuals Houseplants Plant and/or Seed Trader Birds Garden Ideas: Level 1
In areas with winters that are both cold and wet, I think they have a better chance in more exposed, well-drained sites at lower elevations.

Central Ohio is outside the Appalachian rainforest/near-rainforest climate I'm primarily familiar with so it wouldn't surprise me if it's both better draining (i.e., less wet) and also at a lower elevation. It's amazing how comparatively "small" variations like this can matter so much.

I know somebody whose poppies reseed in Zone 4 because even though it's cold, it is still dry enough.
Keep going!
Image
May 29, 2018 10:11 PM CST
Name: Bea
Zone 8b Oregon (Zone 8b)
Amaryllis Heucheras Keeps Horses Hostas Houseplants Hummingbirder
Hydrangeas Keeper of Koi Lilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: Pacific Northwest Ponds
Hello Maddyd, welcome Welcome!

Every annual mentioned above are all wonderful and grow fast and can reseed yearly. Ther best way to know which annual would be the best is by the zone you live in. Can you tell us what zone your in and how much area you wish to cover ?

Your local nursery can also help you with many annuals that reseed year after year and grow well in your area.

Bea
Iโ€™m so busy... โ€œI donโ€™t know if I found a rope or lost a horse.โ€
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