by Connie Oswald Stofko
Whether you’re tired of using the same annuals every year or you’re new to gardening and don’t know where you start, here are some interesting suggestions for annuals from Lockwood’s Greenhouses, 4484 Clark St., Hamburg.
These plants all like sun.
Varieties of cuphea
“It’s a nice, reliable, good overall plant,” said Jill Kisker, grower at Lockwood’s, referring to different varieties of cuphea. It’s also known as cigar plant for the shape of its flowers.
“The hummingbirds go absolutely berserk over it,” she added.
Pictured is ‘Vermillionaire’, which gets 18 to 24 inches tall. A smaller cuphea is ‘Dynamite’, which gets about 12 inches tall. Cuphea Micropetala can get about 3 feet tall and has slightly bigger flowers.
They will tolerate a little shade, but for the best flowering, give them plenty of sun.
‘Pink Zazzle’ is a new variety of an old-fashioned annual called globe amaranth gomphrena. The old-fashioned plant had flowers that were about three-quarters of an inch. The flowers on ‘Pink Zazzle’ are two or three inches.
“It’s like the old gomphrena on steroids,” said Teresa Buchanan, general manager at Lockwood’s.
The pink flowers are round and look similar to thistle heads. They dry well and can be used in dried arrangements.
‘Pink Zazzle’ is drought tolerant and takes off in the heat.
“It’s something kind of fun,” Kisker said.
Tithonia rotundifolia ‘Torch’ or Mexican sunflower
“It’s very orange and bright and fun,” said Kisker, referring to tithonia rotundifolia ‘Torch’, also called Mexican sunflower.
Mexican sunflower can add some drama to your garden. It can get four, five or six feet tall, and gets bushy– two or three feet wide. You can grow it in your garden or in a container, she said.
It flowers a lot, and the flowers are three or four inches in diameter.
While you might not be familiar with it, this plant has been around awhile. Diane Blazek, executive director of All-America Selections at the National Garden Bureau, noted that it’s an All-America Selections winner from 1951.
Agastache ‘Acapulco’ salmon and pink has a pretty smell and attracts pollinators.
It flowers all summer long. The flower color is unusual, getting both pink and salmon flowers on the same plant.
It’s actually a perennial, but it’s tender, so Lockwood’s sells it as an annual.