Winter Annuals

Renewing your Annuals in Winter

The easiest, fastest and, probably, most rewarding way to add instant sparkle to your garden, patio or balcony is by planting colourful annuals.  Boy, do we all need a bit of colour right now to lift us to a new level!

Many annuals also make excellent companion plants to vegetables in that they either attract beneficial insects and pollinators, encourage strong and healthy growth, and/or repel pests on the plant or in the soil.

Annuals are plants that complete their entire life cycle in one season, i.e. from seed to flower and fruiting and back to seed again.  A season typically runs from spring to late summer/early autumn for summer annuals and from autumn to late winter /early spring for winter annuals.  That means the annuals you plant now will provide you with cheer throughout winter and into early spring.  It won’t break the bank either as you only need a couple of trays to make a huge difference.

What to choose, what to choose…

The plants and containers you use really are a matter of personal taste with the determining factor being position – full sun, partial-/semi-shade or light shade.

Plants that love full sun need 6-8 hours of sun every day to flourish and flower optimally.  These plants will become leggy and sickly and won’t produce as many flowers, if any, if planted in a more shaded position.

An ideal partial or semi-shade position is one that receives morning sun and afternoon shade.  Positions that receive mid-day sun or afternoon sun and morning shade should be regarded as full sun positions.

A position in light shade would usually be in the dappled shade of a tree or on a bright patio or balcony where the plants enjoy  plenty of light, but no direct sunlight.

Let’s have a look at what’s on the seedling tables at Lifestyle Home Garden right now and where it will fit into your plans:

 

Alyssum   (Sweet Alyssum / Heuningblom)

winter annuals lifestyle home garden pansy poppy primula dianthus alyssum petunia johannesburg gauteng colour gardening south africa

Produce low-growing carpets of honey-scented flowers all season long in white or shades of purple and lavender.

Position:  Sun or semi-shade

Size:  20 x 20cm

Ideal for:  Edges, containers, hanging baskets and rockeries.

Antirrhinum (Snapdragon / Leeubekkie)

winter annuals lifestyle home garden pansy poppy primula dianthus alyssum petunia johannesburg gauteng colour gardening south africa

They bear spikes of tubular, 2-lipped flowers as either dwarf, knee-high or tall growing varieties in a wide range of colours.  Also available as single or double flowers, so the choices are plentiful!

Position:  Full sun

Size:  Anything from 15cm to 75cm depending on the variety.

Ideal for:  Beds, borders, edges, containers, hanging baskets, rockeries and cottage gardens.  Good cutflowers.

Bellis perennis  (English daisy)

Available as single or double daisy-like flowers in shades of pink, red and white.

Position:  Sun or semi-shade

Size:  15 x 15cm

Ideal for:  Edges, beds and containers

Calendula   (Pot Marigold / Gousblom)

winter annuals lifestyle home garden pansy poppy primula dianthus alyssum petunia johannesburg gauteng colour gardening south africa

These very bright and cheerful flowers in bright orange or yellow are excellent pest repellents and they are highly regarded as medicinal plants.

Position:  Full sun

Size:  30 x 20cm

Ideal for:  Containers, hanging baskets, beds and borders.

Delphinium   (Larkspur)

winter annuals lifestyle home garden pansy poppy primula dianthus alyssum petunia johannesburg gauteng colour gardening south africa

Position:  Sun / Semi-shade

Size:  60cm x 25cm.  ‘Pacific Heights’ will grow up to 1.5m tall!

Ideal for:  Beds, borders and containers.  Good cutflower.

Dianthus  (Carnation / Sweet William)

winter annuals lifestyle home garden pansy poppy primula dianthus alyssum petunia johannesburg gauteng colour gardening south africa

Position:  Full sun

Size:  Tall varieties will grow up to 60cm and compact varieties 20cm high.  Plant 20cm apart.

Ideal for:  Edges, borders, beds and containers.  Good cutflowers.

Papaver nudicaule (Iceland Poppy)

winter annuals lifestyle home garden pansy poppy primula dianthus alyssum petunia johannesburg gauteng colour gardening south africa

Flamboyancy, delicateness, movement and bold colour all in one!  The bonus, as if needed, is that bees absolutely love them.

Position:  Full sun

Size:  35 x 20cm

Ideal for:  Borders, beds and containers.  Good cutflowers.

Petunia

winter annuals lifestyle home garden pansy poppy primula dianthus alyssum petunia johannesburg gauteng colour gardening south africa

Available in a wide range of striking brights and pastels.  Keep these plants moist, but never waterlogged.

Position:  Full sun

Size:  35 x 20cm

Ideal for:  Borders, beds, hanging baskets and containers.

Primula acaulis (Primrose) and Primula elatior (Stalked Primrose)

winter annuals lifestyle home garden pansy poppy primula dianthus alyssum petunia johannesburg gauteng colour gardening south africa

Primroses are low-growing, ground hugging plants that bear their flowers close to their leaves.  Stalked primroses have a similar growth habit, but bear their slightly bigger flowers on short stalks.  Both are available in a range of beautiful bright colours.

Position:  Semi-shade / Light shade

Size:  15 – 20cm x 10 – 15cm

Ideal for:  Containers, hanging baskets, edges and beds.

Primula malacoides  (Fairy Primula)

Available in bright and pastel shades of rose, pink, lavender, purple and white, these fairies will enchant you throughout winter and well into spring.

Position:  Semi-shade / Light shade

Size:  25 x 20cm

Ideal for:  Edges, beds, and containers.

Violas and Pansies

winter annuals lifestyle home garden pansy poppy primula dianthus alyssum petunia johannesburg gauteng colour gardening south africa

Called ‘Gesiggies’ in Afrikaans, these little faces, in colours galore, will certainly put a smile on your face and add an instant spark to your winter garden.

Position:  Sun – preferably morning sun with some protection from the hot afternoon sun.

Size:  15 x 15cm

Ideal for:  Beds, borders, edges, containers, hanging baskets and underplantings.

Share this: