Cold Weather Annuals

Yes! You read that correctly… there are several varieties of annuals that can be planted in both planters and seeded in the ground. With our long winters, many of us are itching to get outside and get to the local greenhouses. However, most annuals are not tolerant of the cold temperatures that remain during the Spring months. A few varieties of annual plants can survive our cold nights and brighten up your home as we wait for warmer days.

Frost and Cold Tolerant Flowers

Pansies, Violas, and Alyssum are all excellent options for temperatures 20 degrees and warmer. These flowers come in several color varieties, and they thrive in cooler temperatures. When temperatures get hot in the middle of summer, these types tend to get a little leggy and do not flower as well.

Wondering how they work in container gardens? There are a few options for planters. First, you can simply choose to replace these plants when the temperatures warm up with annuals who love the heat. Second, our horticulturist recommends planting them toward the middle of your planter with some space left around them. You can add summer-loving annuals in and trim back the cool temperature annuals so they don’t look so leggy.

Fall Planting Suggestions

When fall hits, the pansies, violas, and alyssum will start to thrive again and brighten up your planters! Ornamental Cabbage and Kale also can add some beautiful greens and purples to your planters in both the Spring and Fall months. We love Chrysanthemums so much, we wrote a whole blog about how to work them into your landscape!

Remember, they are only frost ‘tolerant’ as well, meaning they need temperatures above 20 degrees. In addition to all the above plants, snap dragons, dianthus, and artemisia (dusty miller) are all cold tolerant, meaning they survive in above freezing temperatures.

pansy flower


dianthus apple slice

Vegetable Garden Seeding

In addition to starting some annuals, there are a few varieties of vegetables that can be seeded in the ground.
You can begin to seed outdoors:

  • Sweet Peas
  • Sugar snap peas (snow peas)
  • Swiss Chard
  • Kale
  • Cabbage

Selecting the Right Annuals All Season Long

With the right plants, you really can enjoy beautiful blooms from Spring to Fall. This may involve a layered approach, including colder weather annuals with heat-loving annuals. It may require you to completely switch out your container gardens throughout the season to help them look healthy and beautiful. If you are thinking this sounds like a lot of work and time, you are right. Trips to the garden center can be both costly and time-consuming, and it can also be difficult to find the right variety for the right time of year.  Our landscape designers are experts with annual flower installation. They can coordinate beautiful plantings for Spring, Summer, and Fall, and our installation team can have them looking beautiful by the time you arrive home from work. Whether you hire a professional or take the DIY approach, we hope you incorporate some of these cooler weather annuals to spruce up your landscape this Spring!

Ready to get started on your landscaping project in Grand Traverse or Leelanau County, MI? If so, meet with our team of experts, choose a solution to improve your property, and get ready to sit back, relax, and enjoy your beautiful outdoor space.

Get started today with a consultation!

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