Annual toadflax is a colorful cool-season annual. Its lacy foliage is topped with snapdragonlike flowers that attract pollinators such as butterflies and bees. The flowers, in cheerful shades of purple, magenta, and yellow, are great additions to spring bouquets.
Easy to grow from seed or transplants, annual toadflax is a popular addition to early-season containers. Pair it with pansies for a brilliant color show. It is also spectacular as a mass planting in a garden. In cool regions, annual toadflax will bloom well into summer. In warm regions it will fade and eventually die in the heat of summer. Replant it in late summer for flowers in fall. Deer usually steer clear of annual toadflax.
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Annual toadflax is not usually eaten by deer. In areas with lots of deer, plants such as annual toadflax, daffodils, scilla, crocus, and camassia, make it possible to have a colorful spring garden. Often plants with intense fragrance or texture-rich foliage, such as wooly leaves, are unattractive to deer and they'll bypass the plant. Check with friends and neighbors to learn about deer resistant plants in your area.
Annual Toadflax Care Must-Knows
Annual toadflax thrives in full sun and evenly moist, well-drained soil. In areas with hot summers, select a planting site that receives afternoon shade to help the plant continue flowering as hot weather begins. Cut plants back after flowering to encourage a second flush of flowers. In hot regions, remove annual toadflax when flowers begin to fade. Replace it with hot-weather-loving annuals such as marigolds, geraniums, or calibrachoa.
Crisp, cool days of early spring are prime time for annual toadflax. Because its season is short, it's a good idea to start with small plants from the garden center. If seeded directly in the ground in regions with warm summers, annual toadflax often will not begin flowering before the heat sets in.
More Varieties of Annual Toadflax
This variety of Linaria shows off magenta-and-gold flowers in spring or fall. It's sweetly fragrant and more heat tolerant than many other varieties. 'Enchantment' grows 16 inches tall and 12 inches wide.
'Fairy Bouquet' toadflax
Linaria bears blooms in a wide range of shades on compact plants that grow 1 foot tall.
'Northern Lights' toadflax
This variety of Linaria bears blooms in a wide range of shades on plants that grow 2 feet tall.
Plant Annual Toadflax With:
Nemesia is a charming cool-season annual with pretty little snapdragon-shape flowers -- often fragrant -- that bloom in a wide range of colors. It does best in spring and fall (winter in mild-winter climates), though some varieties have better heat-tolerance than others. In cool-summer areas, such as the Pacific Northwest, nemesia will continue to bloom right through the summer into fall. Nemesia prefers moist, well-drained soil that's rich in organic matter.
From tiny, cheerful Johnny jump-ups to the stunning 3-inch blooms of Majestic Giant pansies, the genus Viola has a spectacular array of delightful plants for the spring garden. They're must-haves to celebrate the first days of spring since they don't mind cold weather and can even take a little snow and ice!They're pretty planted in masses in the ground, but also cherished for the early color they bring to pots, window boxes, and other containers. By summer, pansies bloom less and their foliage starts to brown. It's at this time that you'll have to be tough and tear them out and replant with warm-season annuals, such as marigolds or petunias. But that's part of their charm -- they are an ephemeral celebration of spring!
Few gardens should be without the easy charm of snapdragons. They get their name from the fact that you can gently squeeze the sides of the intricately shaped flower and see the jaws of a dragon head snap closed. The blooms come in gorgeous colors, including some with beautiful color variations on each flower. Plus, snapdragons are an outstanding cut flower. Gather a dozen or more in a small vase and you'll have one of the prettiest bouquets around.Snapdragons are especially useful because they're a cool-season annual, coming into their own in early spring when the warm-season annuals, such as marigolds and impatiens, are just being planted. They're also great for fall color.Plant snapdragon in early spring, a few weeks before your region's last frost date. Deadhead regularly for best bloom and fertilize regularly. Snapdragons often self-seed in the landscape if not deadheaded, so they come back year after year, though the colors from hybrid plants will often will be muddy looking. In mild regions, the entire plant may overwinter if covered with mulch.Shown above: 'Rocket Red' snapdragon