What Annuals Should I Plant in My Yard?


April showers are said to bring May flowers. Now that May is here, it’s time to consider planting colorful annuals for your garden. Annuals are inexpensive plants that bloom once or twice a year, brightening up your garden with an array of colors. While they generally bloom for one season, they’re excellent additions to keep your patios and gardens as lively as possible during the growing season. 

Annuals are an inexpensive way to update and upgrade your backyard and they’re fairly easy to do so. Keep reading this post to learn about the top tips for annual plant care, the best types of east coast sun annuals, shade annuals and how you can use annuals to spruce up your container garden. 

Seasonal Tips for Annuals

The more universal tips of annual care, is the ideal growth circumstance for your annual plant. Fortunately, no matter if your garden has little sunlight or a lot of sunlight, there are annuals that thrive in direct sunlight as well as partial or full shade. As we know, no gardens are the same so the amount of available sunlight varies. Thankfully, the number of annuals is plentiful and there are several options for the aspiring gardener, dependent on the amount of sunlight your yard gets. 

The two main types of annuals are sun annuals and shade annuals. We have compiled a list of the top four plants for each type. 

Sun Annuals

Sun annuals are beautiful and boldly colorful flowers that add that much desired color to any yard. These flowers are quite durable during the hotter months and will survive throughout the summer to keep your garden eye-popping. 

These sun annuals are flowers that can withstand direct sunlight for the entire day. To start your sun annual prep, research which annuals grow best in your area. Here are some of our favorites to plant in the Virginia and North Carolina area:


  • Resilient and colorful blooms
  • Easy to care for
  • Prefer dry and hot climates 


  • These plants require very low maintenance
  • Water them daily at the base of the soil and try to keep the petals dry
  • Mature flowers can be watered any time the soil is dry


  • These grow best in direct sunlight
  • They should be watered as often as needed
  • Can be regularly fertilized to help strengthen their blooms

Lantana -

  • These work best as either borders for gardens or in hanging pots
  • Give them full sunlight
  • Put them in well-draining soil 
  • Water them whenever the soil is dry 

A great rule of thumb (literally) is to put your finger in your plant's soil up to your first knuckle. If the soil is wet, you do not need to water. If it's dry, you need to water. (This goes for most plants!)

Shade Annuals

The second type of annual to grow during the summer months are the shade annuals. These flowers, like all annuals, will bloom to keep your garden bright all season-long. Annuals allow gardeners to experiment with a variety of different colors and different garden plants. For those with larger trees in their yard or other sources of shade, there are still a number of options for annuals in the garden. 

Considering updating your garden with new colors? Check out these shade annuals to help bring a bright variety to your yard. 

Begonia -

  • These plants require a little bit of sun 
  • They thrive in the shade
  • Keep the soil moist

Coleus -

  • Easy to grow
  • Keep them in the shade
  • Perfect for container gardens
  • Make sure the soil is moist

New Guinea Impatiens -

  • Should be kept in half-shade
  • These require plenty of water
  • These work well in container gardens

Using Annuals for Your Container Garden

Container gardens are another option to satisfy your green thumb if your yard isn’t ideal for planting annuals. Annuals are a common option to put in container gardens because of how easy they are to plant and the beautiful blooms they produce. Whether you’re living in an apartment without a garden or you just want to decorate your porch, driveway, interior or more, container gardens are a fun and unique way to creatively add bursts of color everywhere, no matter where you live. 

Large or small, there are endless sizes and styles of pots and containers to plant these annuals. The result of your container gardens will leave you having your own mini garden in every area of your home; outdoors and indoors. To help keep your plants thriving in pots, consider using potting mix to ensure your plants are protected against over and underwatering.

Ready to start your annual planting and container garden project? Taylor’s is ready to help with your home improvement project and answer any questions you may have. Get in touch today to get started on your gardening!