Annuals are an excellent way to ensure colour in your yard all summer long.


annual flower

Any plant that grows, flowers, produces seeds and dies over the course of one year is considered an annual. Annuals are an excellent way to ensure colour in your yard all summer long. Use in borders, in beds or to fill open spaces between immature shrubs and trees. They over flow hanging baskets and window boxes, as well as creep up walls or trellises. The variety of uses and colour combinations is endless.


You can purchase annuals in both seed and seedling form. Sow seeds either indoors or outdoors, depending on the growth requirements of the individual plants. Annual seeds that require a longer period of growth should be started indoors. These plants are identified in the chart portion of the Annual section. With Calgary's short growing season, it's usually best to plant annuals in seedling form after the last chance of frost.

Note: When choosing a spot to plant, consider the annual's growth habit. Position tall plants at the back of beds where they will not block the view of smaller plants.

Do you need some planting tips for your annuals? Click "Learn More" to head to our Annuals planting tips page:
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Annuals Growing Guide

Image Plant Name Botanical Name Height / Spread Colour Sun / Shade Planting Date Description
African Daisy AFRICAN DAISY Arctotis 12/18 in. 30/45 cm various sun Some hairy, smooth, or trailing leaves
AGERATUM AGERATUM Ageratum houstonianum 6/10 in. 15/25 cm mauve, blue, red, white sun to part shade Feb. 20-28/May 1-15 Compact plant with wispy flower clusters, remove spent flowers
Sweet Alyssum ALYSSUM, SWEET Lobularia maritima 8/10 in. 20/25 cm purple, white, lavender, rose sun to part shade Mar. 15-30/May 1-10 Compact plant with dainty flowers; good edging plant, very fragrant; blooms from spring to frost
Amaranthus AMARANTHUS Amaranthus caudatus 24/18 in. 60/45 cm red sun Feb. 20-28/n/a Drooping red tassel flowers; dramatic accent plant
China Aster ASTER, CHINA Callistephus chinensis 6-24/8 in. 15-60/20 cm white, blue, red, purple, pink sun Mar. 15-30/May 1-10 Blooms late in the summer with daisy and pompom flower forms, good cutting flower
BABY'S BREATH BABY'S BREATH Gysophila elegans 8-24/12 in. 20-60/30 cm white, pink sun Mar. 15-30/May 1-10 Plentiful clusters of delicate flowers, good for drying
BACHELOR'S BUTTON BACHELOR'S BUTTON Centaurea cyanus 18/10 in. 45/25 cm blue, pink sun Feb. 15-30/Apr. 15-30 Truly blue flowers that readily re-seed, frost tolerant
BACOPA BACOPA Satura cordata 3-24 in. 7.5-61 cm blue, white, pink part shade Low spreading annual, tiny flowers
wax begonia BEGONIA, WAX Begonia semperflorens 8/6 in. 20/15 cm red, pink, white shade Feb. 1-20/n/a Colourful clusters of flowers; green or bronze fleshy leaves and fibrous roots
Tuberous begonia BEGONIA, TUBEROUS Begonia tuberhybrida 14/12 in. 35/30 cm red, pink, yellow, white shade n/a Large showy double flowers; available as plant only
CLEOME CLEOME Cleome hasslerana 36/12 in. 90/30 cm pink, purple, white sun Mar. 1-10/May 1-10 Clusters of flowers with a spidery appearance, tall stems, heat tolerant
COLEUS COLEUS Coleus x hybridus 12/10 in. 30/25 cm varied, red/yellow part shade to shade Mar. 1-15/n/a Grown for colourful foliage; a combination of multi-colored leaves
COSMOS COSMOS Cosmos bipinnatus 10-36/24 in. 25-90/60 cm pink, white, lavender, yellow/red, chocolate sun Apr. 1-10/May 10-20 This plant has feathery foliage with daisy-like flowers, needs staking
DAHLBERG DAISY DAHLBERG DAISY Thymophylla tenuiloba 4-8/6 in. 10-20/ cm yellow full sun n/a Low-growing daisy with ferny foliage, can reseed, good for edging
DAHLIA DAHLIA Dahlia pinnata 12-24/10 in. 30-60/25 cm various sun Mar. 10-20/May 10-20 This late summer bloomer adds color to a garden in late summer and early fall, good cut flower
DATURA DATURA Datura spp. 4/2 ft. 1/.5 m white, yellow, mauve sun Mar. 10-20/May 1-10 An exotic plant, with large trumpet flowers. All plant parts poisonous
DIANTHUS/CHINA PINK DIANTHUS/CHINA PINK Dianthus chinensis 12/8 in. 30/20 cm red, pink, white sun to part shade Mar. 1-10/May 1-10 Fringed flowers, similar to carnations; fragrant and frost tolerant
DRACAENA DRACAENA Dracaena indivisa 36/24 in. 90/60 cm green foliage sun to part shade n/a Grown for its foliage and rosettes of sword shaped leaves; frost tolerant, available as plant only
DUSTY MILLER DUSTY MILLER Senecio cineraria 8-16 /8 in. 20-40/20 cm silver foliage sun Feb. 1-10/n/a Grown for its white foliage, this plant has hairy, divided leaves; drought and frost tolerant
FOUR O'CLOCK FOUR O'CLOCK Mirabilis jalapa 30/20 in. 75/50 cm various sun n/a/June 1-15 Trumpet-like flowers open in late afternoon and stay open all night. Available as seed only
FUCHSIA FUCHSIA Fuchsia hybrida 2 ft. 60 cm red, purple, pink, white part shade to shade Mar. 1-10 Woody shrub with bi-coloured, drooping flowers. Great for hanging baskets
GAILLARDIA GAILLARDIA Guillardia pulchella 18-36/12 in. 46-90/30 cm yellow, orange, crimson sun Mar. 24/n/a Brilliant daisy like flowers
MARIGOLD, AFRICAN MARIGOLD, AFRICAN Tagetes erecta 12-36/12 in. 30-80/30 cm orange, yellow sun Apr. 1-15/May 15-30 Tall plants with lacy leaves and large flowers
MARIGOLD, FRENCH MARIGOLD, FRENCH Tagetes patula 6-18/6 in. 15-40/15 cm yellow, orange sun Mar. 10-20/May 15-25 Solid and bicolor flowers
MARIGOLD SIGNATA MARIGOLD SIGNATA Tagetes knuifolia 6-8/6 in. 15-20/20 cm gold, lemon yellow, tangerine sun Mar. 10-20/May 15-25 Lacy foliage with a citrus fragrance, grown as much for the foliage as the tiny flowers
MEXICAN HEATHER MEXICAN HEATHER Cuphea hyssopifolia 24/18-36 in. 30/45-90 cm purple, lavender, white, pink part shade Long stems topped with dainty flower heads
MONKEY FLOWER MONKEY FLOWER Mimulus x hybridus 10/6 in. 25/15 cm red, yellow, orange shade Mar. 10-20/May 15-20 Bi-coloured flowers suitable for moist shaded area
NASTURTIUM NASTURTIUM Tropaeolum majus 10/10 in. 25/25 cm red, yellow, orange sun to part shade Apr. 1-10/May 1-10 Dwarf plants with edible foliage and flowers; easy to grow from seed, do not fertilize
NEMESIA NEMESIA Nemesia strumosa 12/6 in. 30/15 cm various sun to part shade Mar. 1-10/May 10-20 Flowers resemble miniature orchids, grow in a cool location
NICOTIANA NICOTIANA Nicotiana alata 12-36/10 in. 30-90/25 cm red, wine, rose, lavender, white sun to part shade Mar. 1-10/May 1-10 Fragrant, star-shaped flowers; also known as flowering tobacco
NIEREMBERGIA NIEREMBERGIA Nierembergia caerulea 4-8/12 in. 10-20/30 cm white, dark purple sun to part shade Mar. 15-30/June 1-15 Flower has a golden eye, plant forms a neat dense mat that is covered in flowers; frost tolerant
PANSY PANSY Viola x wittrockiana 6-8/6 in. 15-20/15 cm various shade Feb. 1-10/n/a Hardy and frost tolerant, these short plants grow best in shaded, moist areas, cool season bloomers
PHLOX Phlox drummondii 6-8/6 in. 15-20/15 cm various sun to part shade Mar. 1-10/May 1-10 A compact plant with a long lasting bloom period, good cut flower
POPPY, CALIFORNIA Eschscholzia californica 16-24/6 in. 40-60/15 cm orange sun Apr. 10-20/May 1-10 Saucer-shaped flowers all summer, grayish-green foliage
CORN POPPY POPPY, CORN Papaver rhoeas 16-24/18 in. 40-60/45 cm red, pink, white, salmon sun Apr. 10-20/May 15-30 European wild field poppy, also known as Flanders or Shirley poppy
PORTULACA PORTULACA Portulaca grandiflora 4/6 in. 10/15 cm various bright colors sun Mar. 1-10/May 10-20 Succulent plant with rose-like blooms for hot, dry areas, close on cloudy days
SALPIGLOSSIS SALPIGLOSSIS Salpiglossis sinuata 24-36/12 in. 60-80/30 cm rose, orange, purple, red, yellow sun to part shade Mar. 15-25/May 10-20 Petunia-like flowers with veined petals; back of border, good cut flower
SALVIA SALVIA Salvia spp. 6-24/15-60 in. 30/30 cm red, blue, salmon, purple, white sun Mar. 1-10/n/a Erect, bushy plant, uniquely shaped flowers in vivid colours, good cut flower
SCAEVOLA SCAEVOLA Scaevola aemula 8/10 in. 20/25 cm blue, pink, white sun Apr. 1-10 Tiny blue flowers, great for hanging
SCHIZANTHUS SCHIZANTHUS Schizanthus x wisetonensis 12/12 in. 30/30 cm white, red , blue, pink, purple sun to part shade Mar. 1-10/May 10-20 Spectacular show of lacy leaves and orchid-like flowers, good container or hanging basket plant
SNAPDRAGON SNAPDRAGON Antirrhinum majus 6-36/12 in. 60/30-90 cm various sun, part shade Mar. 1-15/May 10-20 Flower spikes bloom from base up, shear for second bloom; good for edging to back of border; frost tolerant
STATICE STATICE Limonium sinuatum 18/12 in. 45/30 cm blue, yellow, purple, lavender sun Mar. 10-20/May 10-20 Flower spikes with papery petals; good for dried flowers
STOCK, NIGHT SCENTED STOCK, NIGHT SCENTED Matthiola bicornis 14/8 in. 35/20 cm lavender sun to part shade Mar. 20-30/May 10-20 Flower spikes with four-petaled blooms forming a cross, scent strongest in evening
STOCK, TEN-WEEK STOCK, TEN-WEEK Matthiola incana 30/8 in. 75/20 cm various sun to part shade Mar. 1-10/May 10-20 Long, dense, flower spikes; good cut flower, very fragrant
STRAWFLOWER STRAWFLOWER Helichrysum bracteatum 24-36/8 in. 60-90/20 cm various sun Apr. 10-20/May 10-20 Daisy-like flowers with straw-like naturally dry flowers
SUNFLOWER SUNFLOWER Helianthus annuus 1-12 ft./1-3 ft. 30-360/30-90 cm gold, amber, burgundy, red sun April 1/May 10-20 Many varieties of tall stemmed flowers with large heads, tall varieties need staking
SWEET PEA SWEET PEA Lathyrus odoratus 'Knee High' 24-30/8 in./60-75 cm various sun April 1/April 15-20 Shorter sweet peas for garden beds, good for cut flowers, easily grown from seed
TORENIA TORENIA Torenia fournieri 6/8 in. 15/20 cm burgundy, white, blue part shade Mar. 20 Wishbone flower, does well in baskets, keep moist
VERBENA VERBENA Verbena x hybrida 12/12 in. 30/30 cm various sun Feb. 20-28/May 10-20 Both upright and trailing varieties available, round flower clusters in bright colours; good border plant
WEE WILLIE WEE WILLIE Dianthus barbatus 4/6 in. 10/15 cm pink, red, white sun Mar. 1-15/June 1-15 Bushy, flattened heads of colourful flowers in June and July, good border plant
ZINNIA ZINNIA Zinnia elegans 6-36/15-60 in. 30/30 cm various sun April 1-10/May 20-30 Showy, with round flowers; likes hot dry areas

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