Plant Height Inches Spread Inches Exposure Comments
Begonia
Begonia x semperflorens-cultorum
6-15 8-15 Sun or Partial shade Attractive foliage and flowers; Cocktail series such as Vodka (red) is most popular but all are sun and heat tolerant IF well-established in a prepared bed BEFORE JULY 1.
. ( Wax Begonia or Fibrous-rooted Begonia) One of the most popular bedding plants grown, Begonias flower from spring until frost. Colors range from white to pink to vivid red. Some varieties have bronze foliage some have green variegated with white. Some varieties are more sun tolerant than others. B. tuberhybrida (Tuberous Begonia) is also grown but is not as well suited for landscape use in the south.
Caladium
12-18 15-18 Sun or shade Sun or shade IF strap leafed varieties are used in sunny locations and well-established BEFORE JULY 1.
. For shade areas use the Fancy leaf type. Bright foliage, plant from tubers or transplants. Best heat-tolerant and sun-tolerant varieties are Strap Leafed, Pink Gem, White Wing and Red Frill.
Cockscomb
Celosia cristata
12-36 10-30 Sun Crested and plume types available. If transplants are used, small transplants (before flower bud appears) should be used to avoid stunted plants. Can be direct seeded as well.
. Many new varieties of Celosia have been developed in recent years which far extend the use of the plant. Heights range from one-half to two-and-a-half feet. Color range from cream to yellow, gold, pink and red. Flower types vary from fasciated convoluted combs to feathery spikes. Some varieties also have bronze foliage.
Coleus
Coleus X hybridus
8-24 12-24 Sun or Shade Burgundy Sun, Eclipse and Plum Parfait are the most sun and heat tolerant coleus available. Colorful foliage.
. An excellent choice for shady locations, although some varieties are Sun tolerant. Heights range from one to three feet depending on the variety and conditions. Coleus is grown for its colorful foliage; many varieties also have deeply lobed or cut margins. Flower spikes should be removed as they appear.
Copper Plant
Acalypha wilkesiana
36 30 Sun Brilliant copper colored foliage.
. Louisiana Red is broader-leafed, more intense red and more large-growing of the copper plants. Copper red is an improved selection of the standard copper plant.
Cosmos
Cosmos sulphureus
36-72 48-72 Sun
. Ranging in height form one to four feet, Cosmos are among the easiest annuals to grow. Taller varieties have a tendency to fall over and may require staking. C. sulphureus varieties are predominantely yellow and gold; C. bipinnatus varieties are white to pink to crimson.
Gallardia
Galliardia pulchella
12-18 12-18 Sun Heat tolerant daisy-like.
. (Blanket Flower) Gallardia is considerably more heat and drought tolerant than most annuals. A number of varieties are available ranging in color from yellow to red. Height ranges from one to two-and-a-half feet.
Impatients
Impatiens wallerana
6-24 10-24 Shade Brightly colored flowers, (sultana) many varieties --NEVER USE any of the New Guinea or the double impatiens -- they die and don't bloom profusely.
. Impatiens are one of the most popular bedding plants in America. They provide contiunous flowering from spring until fall. Almost all colors except blue are available in varieties ranging in height from six inches to two or three feet. Impatiens generally do best in shade, but many varieties are sun tolerant if given adequate moisture.
Lantana
Lantana x camara
L. hybrida &
L. montevidensis
12-48 30-48 Sun Heat tolerant profuse blooming spreading plant. Colors include yellow, white and purple.
. Sun Trailing forms: Imperial Purple, Trailing Lavendar, Trailing White and Upright forms: New Gold and Dallas Red.
Marigold
Tagetes erecta
6-36 10-36 Sun Should ONLY be planted in August because of spider mite problems. Holds up in heat. Use Antigua series. Sometimes called Mari-mums.
. T. patula (French Marigold). Many varieties are available primarily in shades of yellow, gold, orange and mahogany red. The American or African Marigolds have larger flowers than the French Marigolds. Tripold Marigolds are hybrids between two species. Heights range from six to thirty-six inches.
Ornamental Pepper
Capsicum annuum.
18-20 18-20 Sun Ornamental Peppers are grown for their highly colored elongated fruit (pods) which range in color from yellow to orange, red and purple to nearly black.
. Multiple colors are often present on the same plant. The fruit are extremely hot thus should be used with caution around children. Jerusalem Cherry (Solanum pseudocapsicum) is very similar in appearance except that the fruit is round and poisonous if eaten.
Periwinkle
Catharanthus roseus
12-24 12-24 Sun Excellent heat tolerant selection BUT should NEVER be planted where sprinkler irrigation is used AND should NEVER be planted before June 1 (July 1 is safer) Mulching is higly recommended. Dwarf Summer Cluster is the longest standing most compact variety available.
. (Vinca) With improved varieties and additional colors, Vinca has become a very popular annual in the South. It is heat and drought tolerant and grows well on poor soils. Do not confuse Catharanthus with the true Vinca, V. minor and V. major, which are evergreen perennial ground covers.
Petunia
Petunia X hybrida
8-12 12-24 Sun The Carpet Series is the longest standing hybrid petunias. The V.I.P. and 'Junior' petunia are reseeding, heat and cold tolerant petunias for summer and fall; these vining types should be cut back periodically (every 60 days) to avoid overgrowth, but severe cutback can result in plant death.
. Petunias remain a popular flowering annual. They are heat tolerant, but require ample moisture and fertility to thrive. Virtually all colors are available. Several flower forms are also available, including fully double types. The single multiflora varieties are generally best for landscape use.
Portulaca
Portulaca grandiflora
12 12-18 Sun Excellent heat tolerance; Use the Sundial series for a longer daily flower opening.
. (Moss Rose, Rose Moss) Few annuals can match the performance of this low-growing, spreading plant in hot, dry locations. A wide variety of colors are available in single and double flowers. P. oleracea is a close relative, often grown in hanging baskets.
Salvia
Salvia splendens
8-18 8-18 Shade Needs shade during summer months; Reseeding variety of S. splendens is Lady-in-Red.
. (Scarlet Sage/Red Salvia) Salvia is a garden staple. In addition to the familiar red, numerous other colors including cream, pink and violet pruple are available ranging in height from 10 to 30 inches. Blue Salvia, S. farinacea (Mealy-Cup Salvia), a perennial, is often used as an annual.
Zinnia
Zinnia elegans
6-36 6-36 Sun Many colors, heat resistant, use dwarf variety such as Dreamland.
. The Zinnia is a versatile annual. They range in height from six to 36 inches and are available in many different colors and flowers. Zinnias grow well under hot, sunny conditions, but need ample moisture to thrive. Creeping Zinnia is a reliable annual for hot, dry areas. The yellow flowers resemble small Zinnias. Plants have a spreading habit of growth and are useful annual groundcovers.