Annuals are defined as plants that live an entire life cycle in a single growing season. In Michigan, this often means any plant that lives and dies starting anywhere from early spring and into the first frost of late fall. Though their lives are short-lived; many annual flowers can be extremely beautiful in a full-sun Michigan garden.
This full-sun loving plant can produce flowers in several different colors: red, white, purple, orange, pink and yellow; though the centers will always be a shade of blue or purple. This South African native can reach heights of nearly two feet and will bloom throughout the season in Michigan.
Marigolds can be planted directly into the soil or kept as potted outdoor plants. With so many different varieties, Marigolds can be as small as a few inches or reach heights of up to 3 feet. This sun-loving flower comes in red, orange, yellow/gold, red, white and even striped or bicolor varieties.
Not all species of geranium are full-sun, so be sure to check your specific cultivar prior to planting. All though geraniums are highly resilient against weather; but should only be planted outside after all chances of a late frost have passed.
Two species of the 20 available species of Cosmos are classified as annuals: Cosmos sulphureus and Cosmos bipinnatus. Cosmos sulphureus produce flowers in shades of orange, yellow and red; while Cosmos bipinnatus produces flowers in pinks, whites and dark rose.
Petunias come in shades of cherry red, yellow, violet, blue and shades of pink. In full sun, they will produce vivacious blooms but in shade, their flowering will become reduced. In Michigan, this annual flower will survive from the early summer, right up to the first frost.
Wax begonias are another Michigan favorite. This plant can live in both sun or shade, making it a bit more versatile. It also comes in shades of pink, red and white.
The Summer Snapdragon, as it is commonly known, thrives in full sun and can reach a height of 4 feet. More importantly, this beautiful flower (which can be grown here in Michigan,) comes in white, pink, purple, blue and various bi-colors (depending on the cultivar.)
Verbenas are similar in appearance to hydrangeas as they produce large, full blooms; though be careful not to confuse them with an actual hydrangea. In Michigan, this full sun annual comes in purple, pink, mauve, white and blue.
In Michigan, seeds for zinnias can be planted directly into the soil. Some varities can reach heights of 4 feet, making them a great full-sun plant in a far off sunny corner of a garden; they’re sure to be seen. Zinnias come in shades of green, pink, purple, orange, white, red and yellow.
If you haven’t heard of the moonflower, you’re missing out. This pink or white colored annual produces large, beautiful and fragrant flowers but the catch is: they only bloom at night!