Perhaps the most graceful of the annual ornamental grasses, hare's tail offers soft, fluffy seed heads atop sturdy stems. It's perfect for containers or to add texture to annual or mixed-flower borders. The seed heads hold well when dried, making them perfect for craft projects. This annual grows best in a sunny spot with well-drained soil. Plant it from seed after all danger of frost has passed.
- 1 to 3 feet
- 1-2 feet wide
Plant Hare's tail with
California poppy, a native wildflower, adds an easygoing dose of color hot, dry sites. Beautiful, satiny flowers in sunset colors wave above ferny, blue-green foliage. They like poor soils, especially sandy soils. If soil is too rich and moist, they won't bloom well. California poppies are a cool-season annual, which means they offer great color early in the growing season but fade once the heat of summer hits.Plant them from seed in the fall or very early spring. They like moist conditions at first, but they are drought-tolerant once established. They dislike transplanting. When the plants start to brown and fade, pull them up. However, California poppies will reseed easily; for more plants next year, allow some flowers to ripen to seed on the plant and scatter when you tear up those plants. Replant in fall if you like, especially in warmer-climate areas.
Globe amaranth is an all-time flower-gardening favorite. It seems to have it all -- it thrives in hot conditions, it blooms nearly nonstop, the interesting pom-pom flowers are great for cutting and drying, and it attracts butterflies. Plant globe amaranth and then step back to watch it thrive and add continual beauty until frost. It's great in beds, borders, and containers.Plant established seedlings outdoors in spring after all danger of frost has passed. It tolerates a variety of soils and moisture levels. It isn't fussy about fertilizer, but be careful not to overfertilize.
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.