Top 5 Annuals in the Midwest


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Scaevola
Scaevola are sometimes called fan flowers or half flowers due to their unique shape.
Scaevola are sometimes called fan flowers or half flowers due to their unique shape.
iStockphoto.com/LordRunar

­Scaevola, also known as the Fan Flower for its fan-like shape, are quick to grow and very tough -- perfect for the Midwest. These flowers come in pink, blue or purple, and can flower from June to September with non-stop, fragrant blooms. The fan-like shape, however, means that it sometimes looks like only half of the flower has grown.

People often use them in pots or as hanging plants that can grow up to 3 ft (1 m) high. These flowers generally have so few proble­ms once they begin growing that certain varieties have been termed "New Wonder" and "Blue Wonder." Similar to Colocasia, they can be taken inside during the winter and re-potted in the spring. Many growers, however, find this practice more difficult than simply replacing them once the frost has cleared the next spring [source: Missouri Botanical Garden].

Though the extremes of the Midwest can limit your plant choices, there are plenty of flowers to spruce up your yard. These top 5 popular annuals are a good place to start next spring for a summer full of blooms.

For more information on annuals and related topics, visit the links below.

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Sources

  • Blodgett, Bonnie. "Midwest Top 10 Garden Guide." Sunset Publishing Corp. 2004.
  • Central Florida Farms. "Colocasia." (Accessed 1/18/09) http://www.centralfloridafarms.com/colocasias.htm
  • Dave's Garden. "Plant Files: Taro, Elephant Ear." (Accessed 1/18/09) http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/31781/
  • Denver Plants. "Fan Flower." (Accessed 1/18/09) http://www.denverplants.com/annual/html/scave_won.htm
  • Fernlea. "Scaevola." (Accessed 1/18/09) http://www.fernlea.com/annual/variety/scaev.htm
  • Garden Guides. "Verbena - Garden Basics - Flower - Annual." (Accessed 1/18/09) http://www.gardenguides.com/plants/info/flowers/annuals/verbena.asp#
  • Garden Party. "Annuals vs. Perennials." 6/30/06 (Accessed 1/18/09) http://gardeningnews.blogspot.com/2006/06/annuals-vs-perennials.html
  • McCoy, Joe-Ann. "Lavender: History, Taxonomy, and Produciton." North Carolina State University. (Accessed 1/18/09) http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/fletcher/staff/jmdavis/lav.html
  • Missouri Botanical Garden. "Scaevola aemula 'Blue Wonder.'" (Accessed 1/18/09) http://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/Plant.asp?code=A184
  • North Carolina State University. "Colocasia: Characteristics." (Accessed 1/18/09) http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/poison/Colocsp.htm
  • Proven Winners. "Angelface Blue." (Accessed 1/18/09) http://www.provenwinners.com/plants/detail.cfm?photoID=5713
  • Schoellhorn, Rick. "Angelonia - the warm season snapdragon." Rick's Weed-Read. March 2002. (Accessed 1/18/09) http://hort.ufl.edu/floriculture/gpn/Angelonia.pdf
  • Sink, Harold. "Hearty Mid-West Annuals for Your Garden." Associated Content. 10/10/07. (Accessed 1/18/09) http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/402636/hearty_midwest_annuals_for_your_garden.html?page=1&cat=32
  • VAES. "Top Ten Plants from the 2005 flower trials." (Accessed 1/18/09) http://www.vaes.org.vt.edu/HRAREC/Trial%20Gardens/TopTen2005.htm

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