If you live in the Southeast of the U.S. and you're looking for a low-maintenance flower with a long blooming period, then the marigold is for you. Marigolds are especially popular in Georgia and come in a range of attractive, warm colors, such as gold, deep red and orange. On the downside, you should know that the marigold gives off a rather pungent smell.
Another Southeast-friendly annual with a strong smell is the pansy, but in this case the scent is quite pleasant. The fragrance of this relatively small flower is most noticeable at dawn or at night. The pansy plant doesn't usually grow beyond 9 inches (22.9 centimeters) in height. Another distinctive feature of the pansy is the array of colors that its petals can come in.
Similar to the pansy and the marigold, the petunia is easy to maintain. Since the petunia thrives in the coastal regions and in the heat, it's ideally suited for the Southeast. Multiflora petunias are especially well-suited for this region. Multifloras are also good choices because they grow in bunches and their petals aren't as susceptible to disease as other types of petunias.
One flower that lacks the name recognition enjoyed by other annuals is the vinca, but this multi-functional flower is fast becoming a Southeast favorite. The vinca is well suited to life in hanging baskets, containers and decorative borders. Compared to other annuals, the vinca's flowering period is short; it blooms only from June until the first frost.
The zinnia is another annual that fits well in the Southeastern climate. The flowers can have multi-colored petals and multiple blossoms appear on each stem. It's a good idea to initially plant zinnia indoors, and then move them outside once the weather heats up a bit.