When growing half-hardy annuals, you can enjoy flowers through to the first frosts. They make lovely cut flowers and are great to fill spaces around the garden. Half-hardy annuals don’t like the cold and can often look quite exotic. They are some of the easiest flowers to grow in the beds in the garden, containers and even hanging baskets. There are so many to choose from. Every garden should have some half-hardy annuals and be full of blooms.
What is a half-hardy annual?
Firstly knowing what a half-hardy annual is will be essential. Half-hardy annuals can tolerate some light frosts,, which means they grow a little longer than annuals which won’t tolerate any frost. It is as simple as that!
How to sow half-hardy annuals?
Sow seeds during spring, either into a heated propagator or wait until all frosts have passed and sow direct into the soil,, which is likely to be April or May. The seeds need warmer weather to germinate and thrive, so the temperature is essential. Prick out your seedlings and pot on to give them more space to grow. If you grow seeds under cover, make sure you harden them off before transplanting them outside where they will grow. If you direct sow, you might also need to thin them out.
Growing half-hardy annuals for cutting and propagating
Planting the hardened off young plants around existing shrubs and perennials is a great way to fill gaps. Many half-hardy annuals produce beautiful cut flowers for the vase or as gifts for friends. Many will grow even more when you cut them, which is a bonus! They are also really easy to propagate by collecting seeds. Many will even self-seed and pop up again the following year if there has been a mild winter.
Recommended seeds for growing half-hardy annuals
There are so many to choose from with different colours, shapes, textures, heights and uses. Some are edible, medicinal and great for pollinators too, so there are many benefits to growing them. Here are some of our favourites:
- Cosmos ‘Cupcakes’ and ‘Sensation Mix’,
- Tagetes ‘Lemon Gem’,
- Zinnia ‘Queen Lime’,
- Nasturtium ‘Princess of India’ and ‘Peach Melba’,
- Cleome ‘Firework Mix’,
- Sunflower ‘Titan’ and ‘Ruby Sunset’,
- Statice ‘Compindi Blue’.
There are many more, and each is a personal choice and what you would love to see growing in your garden.
We have lots of seeds for you to choose from in store, so visit us and start sowing your half-hardy annuals.