Annuals are Awesome!  (IMHO)  Cool season is near and we will wish to sit outside and enjoy our gardens more.  Here is a list of cool season annual flowers for your enjoyment. ((how to grow all these will be discussed in the next post))

Annuals Versus Wildflowers

These annuals are on a list of annuals because the have a loooong bloom period.

Wildflowers on the other hand, don’t bloom for so long. Also they are mostly only available as seed to scatter in autumn and then wait while their little plants grow big enough to produce flowers. They basically grow all winter long and flower in spring. My post about Wildflowers – here.

Many of these annuals are quite common and can be found as “seedlings” ( = young plants) in most local nurseries, and many of the big box stores.   To be honest – I prefer seedlings, even though they cost more. My problem is that there are just too many hungry birds out there in the world that want to eat my seeds and tiny baby sprouts. Seedlings from the store have some size and are more resistant to hungry herbivores.


Yes, I have tried all of these, or had friends that tried them and reported back. These are ones we can grow in the Low, Middle, and Upper Desert in the winter months.

About the link colors 

blue links are to posts here on Gardening With Soule

dark maroon links are to posts I have written for other sites, especially Savor the Southwest.

Annuals to Choose From

A – D

alyssum (Lobularia maritima) – seeds or seedlings

bells of Ireland (Moluccella laevis) – seedlings

bachelor’s buttons (Centaurea montana) – seeds or seedlings

bellis (Bellis perennis) – seeds or seedlings

Nigella have seeds used for flavor in cooking.

black cumin (Nigella sativa) – seeds

borage (Borago officinalis) – seeds or seedlings

butter-and-eggs (Linaria vulgaris) – seeds or seedlings

butterfly flower (Schizanthus pinnatus) – seedlings

calendula (Calendula officinalis) – seeds or seedlings

calibrachoa (Calibrachoa species) – seedlings

carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus) – seeds or seedlings

celandine poppy (Stylophorum species) – seeds

Chinese forget-me-not (Cynoglossum amabile) – seeds

clarkia (Clarkia species) – seeds or seedlings

corn flower (Centaurea cyanus) – seeds or seedlings

cupflower (Nierembergia scoparia) – seeds or seedlings

daisy (Bellis perennis) – seedlings

Also called English daisy – these are long lasting charmers.

delphinium (Delphinium species) – seeds or seedlings

desert bearpaw poppy (Arctomecon species) – seeds, Mohave Desert wildflowers

desert stock (Matthiola livida) – seeds or seedlings, fragrant!

diascia (Diascia species) – seedlings, perennial in native lands

dianthus (Dianthus species) – seeds or seedlings

dill (Anethum graveolens) – seeds or seedlings

dusty miller (Artemisia stelleriana) – seedlings

Delphinium may not love our alkaline soil, but they tolerate it.

E- L

English daisy (Bellis perennis)seeds or seedlings

evening stock (Matthiola longipetala) – seeds or seedlings

echinacea (Echinacea species) – seedlings (annuals in Low and Middle Desert)

farewell to spring (Clarkia amoena) – seeds or seedlings

fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) – seeds or seedlings

forget-me-not (Myosotis sylvatica) – needs acidic soil – seeds

foxglove (Digitalis species) – seedlings

geranium (Geranium species) – seedlings

gilly flower (Matthiola incana) – seeds or seedlings, fragrant flowers

godetia (Clarkia amoena) – seeds or seedlings

heliotrope (Heliotropium species) – seedlings

honeywort (Cerinthe major) – seeds (seedlings if you can find them)

horned poppy (Glaucium species) – seeds or seedlings

Johnny-jump-up (Viola tricolor) – seeds or seedlings

Ornamentla kale and cabbage are highly frost tolerant.

kale, ornamental (Brassica oleracea) – seedlings

larkspur (Consolida ajacis) – seeds or seedlings

linaria (Linaria species) – seeds or seedlings

lobelia (Lobelia erinus) – seeds or seedlings

love in a mist (Nigella damascena) – seeds or seedlings

Johnny jump ups are related to pansies and violets.

M – S

mignonette (Reseda odorata) – seeds, frost tolerant and very fragrant!

nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) – seeds or seedlings

Nepal poppy (Meconopsis napaulensis) – seeds

nigella (Nigella species) – seeds or seedlings

nierembergia (Nierembergia species) – seeds or seedlings

ornamental cabbage (Brassica oleracea) – seedlings

pansy (Viola × wittrockiana) – seedlings

petunia (Petunia × atkinsiana) – seedlings

pinks (Dianthus plumarius) – seeds or seedlings

poppy * (usually Papaver species) – seeds or seedlings

pot marigold (Calendula officinalis) – seeds or seedlings

prickly poppy (Argemone species) – seeds, native, generally grown as a wildflower

pygmy poppy (Canbya species) – seeds, native, generally grown as a wildflower

rose campion (Silene coronaria) – seeds

Snapdragon come in many colors.

snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus) – seeds or seedlings

Spanish fennel flower (Nigella hispanica) – seeds

star flower (Borago officinalis) – seeds or seedlings

stock (Matthiola species) – seeds or seedlings, fragrant flowers

Some Sweet & Fragrant Flowers

sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima) – seeds or seedlings, fragrant blooms

sweet Annie (Artemisia annua) - frost tolerant, fragrant foliage

sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus) – seeds or seedlings, protect from frost, fragrant flowers

sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) – seeds or seedlings, fragrant flowers
Sweet William.

T – Z

twinspur (Diascia barberae) – seeds or seedlings

toadflax (Linaria vulgaris) – seeds or seedlings

velvet centaurea (Centaurea cineraria) – seeds or seedlings

verbena (Verbena species) – seeds or seedlings

violet (Viola species) – seeds or seedlings

wall flower (Erysimum species) – seeds or seedlings

wild fennel flower (Nigella arvensis) – seeds or seedlings

wind poppy (Stylomecon species) – seeds, considered a wildflower

wormwood (Artemisia annua) – seeds or seedlings

Common European poppy.

A Note About Poppy *

“Poppy” refers to a number of different genera of winter and spring flowering plants in the poppy family, including the ones below. Some are perennials and are not listed in the annuals list above. Some are grown as wildflowers, meaning scatter seed and wait until spring, and likewise, are not in the list above.

Arctomecon – desert bearpaw poppy

Argemone – prickly poppy

Canbya – pygmy poppy

Dendromecon – tree poppy (from Baja – I want one!)

Eschscholzia – our common desert poppies grown as wildflowers

Glaucium – horned poppies

Hunnemannia – Mexican tulip poppy

Meconopsis – like it cool – the Nepal poppy

Papaver – five annual species planted

Romneya – perennials, matilija poppy and relatives

Stylomecon – wind poppy

Stylophorum – celandine poppy

About Your Southwest Yard & Garden

On advice of a business manager – I was told to more actively sell my “products.”   I responded, “Start blowing my own horn more?!  I’m a gardener and a writer, not a sales agent!” but here goes:

As well as writing about plants, I offer classes online and in person.  Then there is the fun and informative Membership site the Gardening With Soule Membership Club. There are many wonderful features to the Club site – in-depth detail on topics (more than mere blog posts) – specific plant profiles – care videos – monthly live Q & A sessions, and much more.

Why do I do all this writing and teaching?

So that you will succeed with your gardening goals, and enjoy gardening here as much as I do.

How to take care of your flowers:

soule-books-buyOne reviewer said:

“A great reference book is key to successful gardening in the region where you live. Arizona, Nevada & New Mexico Month-by-Month Gardening takes the guesswork out of gardening for anyone residing in the Southwest. With this book, you’ll know what to do each month to enjoy a thriving garden all year, from January to December. Chronologically organized, this guide is full of critical gardening when-to and how-to advice, along with illustrated step-by-step instructions.

The book’s author is Jacqueline Soule, a Tucson-based gardening expert. She knows this arid region inside and out, and she’s written several articles and books packed with her gardening advice. Arizona, Nevada & New Mexico Month-by-Month Gardening showcases Soule’s expertise in one easy-to-read guide.”

This book (and others) are available on my book selling site.  Buy the book there, and the Horticulture Therapy non-profit Tierra del Sol Institute will get a few pennies – at no extra cost to you.


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