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Top Plant Picks for Late-Summer Color

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Best Plants for Rock Gardens

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Annual vinca

Catharanthus roseus

You've gotta love annual vinca -- it really delivers. It will tolerate a wide variety of conditions and still keep it up with almost unreal-looking, glossy green flowers and pretty pink, lavender, or red flowers that look like tiny parasols.

Whether the summer is dry or wet, hot or cold, vinca plugs along unfazed. It makes a great container plant. Or plant it in a bed or border, grouping at least eight or more together for best effect.

Plant established seedlings in spring after all danger of frost has passed. Vinca withstands drought but does best with moderate moisture. Fertilize occasionally. Like impatiens, this plant tends to be "self-cleaning" and needs little deadheading.

Shown above: Pretty in Pink vinca

Light:

Sun

Type:

Height:

1 to 3 feet

Width:

6-16 inches wide

Flower Color:

Seasonal Features:

Problem Solvers:

Zones:

2-11

how to grow Annual vinca

more varieties for Annual vinca

'Jaio Dark Red' vinca
'Jaio Dark Red' vinca
Catharanthus 'Jaio Dark Red' produces rich magenta-red flowers on 1-foot-tall plants.
'Mediterranean Deep Rose' vinca
'Mediterranean Deep Rose' vinca
Catharanthus 'Mediterranean Deep Rose' produces rich magenta-rose flowers on trailing plants perfect for containers.
'Pacifica Burgundy Halo' vinca
'Pacifica Burgundy Halo' vinca
Catharanthus 'Pacifica Burgundy Halo' produces deep red-pink flowers with a large white eye. It grows 12 inches tall.
'Pacifica Punch' vinca
'Pacifica Punch' vinca
Catharanthus 'Pacifica Punch' is an award-winning selection that produces deep rose-pink flowers with a magenta eye. It grows 12 inches tall.
'Pretty in Pink' vinca
'Pretty in Pink' vinca
Catharanthus 'Pretty in Pink', an award-winning variety, offers soft pink flowers on compact 1-foot-tall plants.
'Pretty in White' vinca
'Pretty in White' vinca
Catharanthus 'Pretty in White' bears large, pure-white flowers on compact plants.
'Tropical Rose' vinca
'Tropical Rose' vinca
Catharanthus 'Tropical Rose' produces large, bold magenta-red flowers on compact plants.

plant Annual vinca with

Angelonia
Angelonia is also called summer snapdragon, and once you get a good look at it, you'll know why. It has salvia-like flower spires that reach a foot or 2 high, but they're studded with fascinating snapdragon-like flowers with beautiful colorations in purple, white, or pink. It's the perfect plant for adding bright color to hot, sunny spaces. This tough plant blooms all summer long with spirelike spikes of blooms. While all varieties are beautiful, keep an eye out for the sweetly scented selections. While most gardeners treat angelonia as an annual, it is a tough perennial in Zones 9-10. Or, if you have a bright, sunny spot indoors, you can even keep it flowering all winter.
Calibrachoa
Like a tiny petunia on steroids, calibrachoa (also called million bells) grows and flowers at an amazing rate. Often confused for a petunia, million bells makes a splash no matter where you put it in the garden. It is perfect for containers or hanging baskets but also can be tucked into the front of a border where it will spill out onto sidewalk or patio. In fact, it may be the ultimate "spiller" for container gardens as long as you give it ample water and fertilizer, which it needs to fuel its astounding growth.Shown above: MiniFamous Compact Red calibrachoa
Lisianthus
Lisianthus flowers make people ooh and ahh. Some varieties of this annual look like a blue rose. It's such an elegant flower you'd never guess it's native to American prairies. And lisianthus is one of the best cut flowers -- it will last in the vase for 2 to 3 weeks.Lisianthus can be challenging to grow. They're extremely tricky to grow from seed, so start with established seedlings. Plant them in rich, well-drained soil in full sun after all danger of frost has passed. Keep moist but do not overwater. Taller varieties of lisianthus often need staking to keep their long stems from breaking, but newer dwarf varieties are more carefree.
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