If your local garden centers haven’t hit the big spring boom, it is right around the corner. Try to fight the urge to go to a big box store. This year, make your way out to a real garden center like Arbor Gate in Tomball, Buchanan’s Native Plants in The Heights, or The Ground Up in Houston & Katy, that has the knowledgable staff to answer your flower and gardening questions.
Full Sun Required (about 6 – 8 hours)
These are the hours needed to allow the plants to be vibrant and disease resistant.
Amaranthus – Easily grown in moist, average, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best flowering in full sun, but appreciates some afternoon shade in hot summer climates.
Angelonia – is a spreading annual with upright flower spikes that resemble minature snapdragons. Flower colors available include white, pink, purple, lavender, and lavender pink. Angelonia can be used as a border planting, a ground cover, or as a trailing plant for mixed containers. Drought tolerant.
Blue Daze – Heat-tolerant, trailing plant works well in combination containers and baskets. True blue flowers are a consumer favorite.
Celosia – celosia is easily grown as a warm weather annual in humusy, moderately fertile, consistently moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Tolerates light shade and dry soils. Thrives in hot and humid summers.
Gaillardia – Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soils in full sun. Prefers moist, organically rich soils that drain well but tolerates some dry soils. Performs poorly in unamended heavy clay; so it is recommended that you till in compost & possibly expanded shale for gumbo soils.
Gomphrena – Does great in average, well-drained soils in full sun. Although mature plants exhibit good drought resistance, plants grow best with regular moisture throughout the growing season. Extremely good heat tolerance.
Marigold (Antigua) – French marigolds are smaller, bushier plants with flowers up to two inches across. Flower colors are yellow, orange and mahogany red. Many varieties have bicolored flowers. Plant height ranges from 6 to 18 inches. These plants bloom from spring until frost and are excellent for bordering flower beds and in containers.
Marigold (Durango) – Setting the highest standard for anemone-type marigolds, Durango delivers excellent branching for more blooms and strong stems for superior shipping. Early-blooming with a well-matched, 5 to 7-day flowering window across all colours, Durango produces uniformly shaped, extra-large, 2 to 2.5-in. (5 to 5.5-cm) flowers in a terrific range of colours. Good choice for both packs and pots, with outstanding uniformity from bench to garden.
Medusa Ornamental Peppers – A dwarf child-safe variety bearing non-pungent fruit, easy-to-grow. Medusa is naturally compact and well-branched, making it ideal for 4-in. pot culture, with no growth regulators needed. Plants stay compact in gardens and containers. Produces colourful, 2 to 2.5-in. fruit – each with a narrow, twisted, cone shape – held prominently upright over the dark green foliage. Fruit starts out ivory, turns to yellow, then orange, and finally bright red. A single plant can produce 40 to 50 fruits.
Periwinkle/Vinca – It performs best in well-drained soils that receive partial to full sun. Excellent heat and drought tolerance, blooming continuously through the intense heat of mid-summer. However, Madagascar periwinkle does not perform well in wet, poorly drained soils or in cool spring weather. Plants turn a sickly yellow green in wet soils or cool spring weather. When choosing a planting site, make sure it has well-drained soil. Also, allow the temperatures to warm nicely before planting in the spring. Annual vinca is free of serious insect and disease pests.
Portulaca – Easily grown in poor to average, dry to moderately moist, well-drained soils in full sun. Drought tolerant.
Purslane – Drought tolerant annual that is considered a weed up North and a tasty treat; as it is edible and contains many nutrients.
Zinnia – They are one of the easiest annuals to grow, grow quickly, and bloom heavily. They make a massive burst of color in your garden. Zinnias have bright, solitary, daisy-like flower-heads on a single, erect stem. The most common zinnia is “dahlia-flowered” and grows up to three feet. Other types are “cactus-flowered.”