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Winter Annuals: A Fantastic Color Option

Delphiniums

Delphiniums

As the weather changes, so should your flower bed.  Annual flowers provide fantastic color to landscapes with months of flowers or attractive foliage, but the trade-off is that they give you all they’ve got over one growing season.

There are two main groups of annuals, summer (warm season) and winter (cool season).  Summer annuals are considered “tender” and will not tolerate frosts, but winter annuals are “hardy” meaning they can stand cool temperatures and even hard frost if given time to establish before the coldest weather arrives.  Most winter annuals actually prefer cooler temperatures and perform poorly during the hottest part of the year.

Some hardy winter annuals that can be planted after October are pansies, violas, snapdragons, dianthus,delphinium, petunia, alyssum, dusty miller, hollyhock, ornamental cabbage and kale, and verbena.  With all the choices available, winter flower beds can be filled with all ranges of the color palate!

Plan to change flower beds to winter annuals from October to November, depending on the weather.  Wait until cool weather trends arrive so that the new plants are not stressed by hot weather and high humidity.  Most winter annuals will perform well until warm weather arrives, typically April or May in North Florida.  Read more about “Gardening with Annuals in Florida.”

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Author: Julie McConnell – juliebmcconnell@ufl.edu

UF/IFAS Bay County Horticulture Extension Agent I

Julie McConnell

Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2013/11/18/winter-annuals-a-fantastic-color-option/