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Containers Part 4: Annuals that Like to Hang Around

I love using gorgeous ceramic and fiberglass pots as a foundation to a great container garden and on occassion only use plants with an upright or vase-shaped growth habit so the pot may be viewed at all times. But since I have a soft spot for plants with a trailing habit I include many in my designs.

Trailing plants - annuals in particular - soften the overall look of the container while complementing the rest of the arrangement. There are many different annual varieties to choose from for both sunny and shady conditions.

Here is a list of my top five semi-trailing and trailing annuals featuring some new varieties for 2015:

1. Trailing Petunias

Pretty much a staple for the sunny container, right? And for good reason! Fertilize them on a regular basis and they preform wonderfully. Some of the newer varieties claim to require less deadheading (although I deadhead all of them for better bloom count). They are available in wide range of colors with differently sized flowers and various growth habits.

A few petunias stay compact such as the Potunia series while Supertunias have a slightly larger mounding/trailing habit. A new one to look out for this year would be the really great yellow variety Supertunia® Limoncello. As yellow petunias are difficult to develope, up until now the choices have been dissapointing. I am hopefull for Limoncello.

photo credit

The vigorous Wave series can be massive come August and overtake most of the pot. A better solution may be the new EasyWave Velour series as they tend to behave themselves a little more and have a velvety texture. I would still plant one per pot, unless the container is large.

Easy Wave Red Velour photo credit Park Seed

EasyWave Burgundy Velour photo credit Park Seed

EasyWave Berry Velour photo credit Park Seed

2.Calibrachoa or Million Bells

This may be the perfect trailer for the sunny and part sun container or basket.Available in a wide range of color combinations of small flowers covering this plant all season long. And no deadheading required - honest! Ok, once again I have been known to deadhead these guys, especially after a long rain as it speeds up bloom time. Most often this is just a matter of giving the whole plant a little haircut, which not only removes spent blooms but also promotes branching, making a fuller, thicker plant. Win-win.

True Trailing Calibrachoa will lay flatter and trail down lower over the pot than other varieties while Superbells have a more speading habit with larger flowers. All are gorgeous. New to look for this year:

Superbells Frostfire photo credit Proven Winners

C.Trailing Red. Previous red million bells have had a mounding/semi-trailing habit.

Photo credit

I adore the Minifamous Double series, they remind me of little roses. In fact I may have to underplant some of my container roses with them this year. This new guy is Double Chiffon, photo credit Park Seed.

3. Bacopa

Another low maitenance annual with a great trailing habit. No deadheading for this one at all, I just trim it occassionally as I do with the million bells. Available in whites, blues and pinks. A must-have for sunny or part-sun containers and baskets. I would not use this one in a hanging basket that is constantly exposed to dry winds. And do not overwater it either.

New for this year is Bacopa Snowstorm Blue Bubbles. A better kind of snowstorm than what we have had over the winter. photo credit Proven Winners

And more snow... Bacopa Snowstorm Snow Globe photo credit

4. Trailing Fuschia

I ask you, is there anything more delightful than a hummingbird with it's tiny beak vibrating a Fuschia flower around while it grazes on nector? Not really, it is the main reason that I buy fuschias. Oh and also because they do well in sun or shade. And they are pretty all year. And easy to care for.

There are upright Fuschia varieties and trailing, here are a couple of new trailers for this year:

Fuschia 'Adrienne' photo credit

F. "White King" is a new double white trailer, photo credit

5. Trailing Torenia

Another wonderful trailing flowering annual for shade to part shade containers. And it comes in blue - really blue.

Torenia Summer Wave Large Blue photocredit Proven Winners

Torenia Summer Wave Large Violet, photo credit Proven Winners

Torenia Gilded Grape, photo credit Proven Winners

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