Top Annual Plant Pairings

We've pulled together a grouping of our favorite annual plant pairings. Try them in your garden.

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  • 1 of 22

    Use a Classic Color Combo

    The deep, velvety tones of 'Storm Blue' petunia mix beautifully with the clean white flowers of 'Maverick White' geranium. This easy-to-grow combination creates a bold contrast that will enliven any garden bed or container.

    Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil.

  • 2 of 22

    Use Bold Color in Hot Spots

    One of our favorite annuals is angelonia. It seems like this tough plant can take just about any sort of weather. And the deep blue flowers of 'Angelmist Purple' make an ideal contrast for the bright 'Orange Profusion' zinnia blooms.

    Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil.

  • 3 of 22

    Create a Color Contrast

    'Orange Profusion' zinnias are strong-growing, reliable plants. Their low habit and bright orange color make them a first-rate partner for blue and purple flowers, such as this 'Forever Blue' lisianthus.

    Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil.

  • 4 of 22

    Use Foliage and Flowers

    You don't have to rely on flowers for stunning annual combinations. Here, 'Orange Profusion' zinnias and geranium 'Occold Shield' look great -- even without the geranium's double coral blooms.

    Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil.

  • 5 of 22

    More Foliage Ideas

    Annual licorice vine's fuzzy, silvery foliage makes it a great foil for any brightly colored bloom. Here, it blends beautifully with the bright pink flowers of 'Profusion Cherry' zinnia. Both of these ultra-tough plants stand up to heat and drought, too.

    Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil.

  • 6 of 22

    Make a Purple Color Combo

    Rich purple can make any garden shine, especially when complemented with a more soothing tone. Here, bold 'Purple Wave' petunias make an excellent partner for annual ageratum. These tough plants both take hot conditions like champions.

    Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil.

  • 7 of 22

    Create Instant Impact

    While using bold colors can create a knock-your-socks-off look, don't forget about texture. Here, the fuzzy blooms of 'Blue Horizon' ageratum offer an intriguing contrast to a flowering maple's orange hibiscus-shaped blossoms.

    Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil.

  • 8 of 22

    Take Advantage of Texture

    Melampodium is a top-notch mounding plant with loads of yellow flowers. Its mounding form brings to life the spiky shape of 'Victoria' blue salvia and creates lots of bold interest. The two are accented with the white blooms of a shrub rose.

    Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil.

  • 9 of 22

    Create Cheer with Yellow Flowers

    Yellow is an invigorating color and can be used with great effect in the garden. Its boldness catches the eye -- and it feels happy. This picture-perfect pairing features 'Talent Yellow' gazania, Dahlberg daisy, and white sweet alyssum.

    Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil.

  • 10 of 22

    Build Layers of Color

    Layers of color and texture create loads of interest in the garden. Plant varieties that reach different heights to bring drama to your beds, borders, and containers. Here, 'Victoria' blue salvia rises above mounds of creamy-white 'Perfume Antique Lime' nicotiana and 'Lemon Gem' marigolds.

    Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil.

  • 11 of 22

    Work Off a Theme

    Here's another example of how you can use layers for a bold look. The rich-red 'Liberty' snapdragon blooms rise above the lower 'Fantasy Pink' petunias. Silvery licorice plant is a soothing foil that blends the two together.

    Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil.

  • 12 of 22

    Put It All Together

    This great combination offers a little of everything. Tall 'Red Hot Sally' salvia creates a bold layer of color and texture over the variegated leaves of 'Vancouver Centennial' geranium. It's topped off by a splash of color from fragrant 'Marine' heliotrope.

    Growing Conditions: Full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil.

  • 13 of 22

    Create Color Early

    Many annuals wind down as temperatures heat up. Offer early season appeal in your garden with the bright blue blooms of larkspur and 'Golden Rocket' snapdragon. If they fade when it gets hot, dig them out and replace them with heat-tolerant varieties such as purple angelonia and yellow celosia.

    Growing Conditions: Full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil.

  • 14 of 22

    Use Bold Color for Cool Temperatures

    Pretty 'Comet Pink' Marguerite daisy creates a low mound of color in spring and fall. Accent it with tall red, pink, or white snapdragons for an amazing combination. Marguerite daisy usually takes a break during the hottest summer weather so plant a mounding petunia with it to keep the color going.

    Growing Conditions: Full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil.

  • 15 of 22

    Celebrate Spring with Soft Colors

    What could be prettier than this combination of 'Riviera Midnight' lobelia, 'Yellow Frost' viola, and white sweet alyssum? These beauties are the perfect way to start the gardening season.

    Growing Conditions: Full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil.

  • 16 of 22

    Make a Statement in Shade

    Brilliant red 'Dragon Wing' begonias are the perfect backdrop for creeping 'Summer Wave Blue' wishbone flowers. Both of these shade-loving plants flower profusely and grow great in beds, borders, and containers.

    Growing Conditions: Shade and well-drained soil.

  • 17 of 22

    Brighten Shady Spots

    You can't go wrong with an all-white combination. Here, shimmering 'White Christmas' caladiums provide big-leaf texture to the combination of 'Prelude White' begonia and white polka-dot plant.

    Growing Conditions: Shade and well-drained soil.

  • 18 of 22

    Use Cool Colors for Shade

    Impatiens are some of the best plants for shade. Here, 'Pink Swirl' impatiens create a lovely contrast for 'Riviera Midnight Blue' lobelia. This annual combination will give you the perfect reason to stop and rest beneath the shade of your favorite tree.

    Growing Conditions: Shade and well-drained soil.

  • 19 of 22

    Create a Riot of Color

    Start with 'Dazzler Blue Pearl' impatiens for a big dose of color to shady spots. Add to that the colorful flowers of 'Clown Rose' wishbone flower and the rich blue tones of browallia and you've created a combination that will rival any sunny garden for high-impact color.

    Growing Conditions: Shade and well-drained soil.

  • 20 of 22

    Grow a Cool-Color Theme

    Dusty miller's silvery foliage sets off any annuals to great effect. Here, it's a perfect pairing for 'Easy Wave Pink' and 'Easy Wave Blue' petunias. Using a cool-color theme is a great way to help your yard look bigger (cool, light colors usually look farther away) and to give visual relief to summer's heat.

    Growing Conditions: Full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil.

  • 21 of 22

    Try Plants That Take the Heat

    For hot, sunny areas, you can't beat a festive combination of 'Victoria' blue salvia, 'First Kiss Orchid Halo' annual vinca, and white narrow-leaf zinnia. These tough-as-nails plants love the sun and require almost no maintenance. Once established, they're relatively drought tolerant.

    Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil.

  • Next Slideshow Top Annual Plants for Shady Areas

    Top Annual Plants for Shady Areas

    Transform garden shade spots in your backyard into a spring-to-fall shade-flowers show. Start with one or more of these easy, colorful shade plants.
    Begin Slideshow »
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