The Only Summer Container Annuals I’ll Ever Need
You know how it is. When you’re younger (early 50s, say), you want to experiment. Try out different plants in your containers for sun.
And then one day you look at the containers on your front steps and you say: “These are the container annuals for me.”
At this moment, my perfect container plants for sun start with ‘Mystic Spires Blue’ Salvia, ‘Red Lace’ Starflower (Pentas lanceolata), and Cigar Plant (Cuphea ignea).
All three of these are very attractive to hummingbirds, and they go together really nicely. Also, none of them require you to go crazy with deadheading and they won’t faint if their pot gets a tad dry.
The number one hummingbird magnet seems to be ‘Black and Blue’ Salvia (S. guaranitica). I had tried this plant before and found its flowering to be unsatisfactory. This year it did better, though it still seems to bloom in spurts with awkward pauses in between. Possibly it needs more fertilizer.
In any case, in deference to the hummingbirds, I will keep this plant around.
I’ve also concluded that what works best in summer is to keep the dramatic plants restricted to the containers on the top couple of steps leading to the front door. The pots leading to the steps should be filled with plants that make low, colorful mounds. My favorites for this purpose are the ‘Profusion’ Zinnias – ‘Profusion Fire’, ‘Profusion Orange’, etc.
And I refuse to turn my nose up at French Marigolds (Tagetes patula’), especially single varieties like ‘Disco Red’.
So you see, I’m not afraid of making a commitment. These are the container plants for me. For the moment, anyhow.
Have you found your perfect container plants yet?