There’s something beautiful about having a garden that looks a little different each year. If you enjoy the challenge of getting your hands dirty and working with new plants, annual flowers are the way to go. In this article, we’ll cover the benefits of planting annuals in June, annual flowers to plant in June, and how to care for them.
Let’s dig in!
Benefits of Planting in June
Planting a garden in June offers several benefits, the biggest of which is the reduced risk of frost. This consideration is essential if you live in a region with late-season frosts. Canadian farmers and gardeners often follow the adage: “Wait for the full moon in June.”
June also brings longer days and warmer weather, providing seedlings and transplants with the sunlight they need to grow and thrive. The temperate weather also creates favorable conditions for establishing seeds compared to the hot, dry weather in July and August.
Tips for Choosing Annuals for Garden
With so many annuals to choose from, narrowing down the options can be a challenge. Here are some top considerations when choosing annuals for your garden.
Different flowers have different needs. Consider where your garden is placed and how much sun it gets throughout the day. Choose annuals with sunlight needs that align with your garden’s location.
Some flowers prefer humid soil with plenty of water retention. Others require sufficient drainage to prevent root rot. These flowers rarely grow well together.
You can determine soil drainage by digging a 12-inch hole in your garden. Fill the hole with water and let the surrounding soil absorb the moisture. Refill the hole with water and use a ruler to determine how much the water goes down each hour.
Most annual plants have an ideal soil drainage rate of 1-4 inches per hour. Mix your garden with compost or organic matter if the water drains faster. If the water drains slower, you can aerate the plot or choose flowers that prefer clay-type soil.
Next, determine the pH level of the soil. Get a home testing kit and use the soil you dug up during your drainage test to determine whether the garden is acidic, neutral, or basic. Most annuals thrive in neutral soil.
If your soil is overly acidic, you can add limestone. If your soil is alkaline or “sweet,” you can add ground sulfur.
Avid farmers and gardeners also use the earthworm test. Grab your shovel and dig a few holes in your garden. You should find a few earthworms in the upturned dirt. If you don’t, your soil needs more organic matter.
If you don’t want to try changing your soil, choose plants that thrive in that environment.
Finally, consider how you want the garden to look and its purpose. You might choose a theme or color scheme if it’s purely ornamental. Alternatively, you could choose flowers that attract pollinators.
Consider planting annuals with different growth rates and bloom periods. This approach will ensure you have flowers blooming all summer long.
With those considerations in mind, here are the best annual flowers to plant in June.
Begonias are one of the most popular annual flowers for a summer garden. This versatile flower belongs to the genus Begonia, which houses over 2000 species of beautiful bloom.
These versatile flowers are easy to grow and require minimal maintenance. They come in various colors and tolerate full sun and partial shade.
Begonias are prone to root rot, so adequate soil drainage is essential. While these flowers are drought tolerant, they can use a splash of water in the morning or evening after the day’s heat has passed.
Some begonias are perennials and have tubers rather than seeds. Look for annual species known as wax begonias. Start the seeds inside in a warm, damp area 12 weeks before the growing season or plant directly outside after the danger of frost has passed.
While perennial begonias are restricted to USDA zones 9-10, you can plant annual begonias in USDA zones 3-10.
Cosmos is a wildflower that’s been domesticated over time. These vibrant, low-maintenance blooms are related to daisies, sunflowers, and asters. These nutrient-rich flowers attract bees and butterflies all summer long.
These stunning blooms prefer full sun exposure. They grow well in neutral soil but will also tolerate a more acidic garden plot. Unlike most flowers, cosmos perform better in low-nutrient soil, as nutrient-rich soil can cause overgrowth and crowding.
Cosmos are drought-tolerant and require minimal watering once the roots are established. Rely on the rain to keep these beauties hydrated, providing a splash of water if they start to wilt.
Plant cosmos seeds directly in the soil in June in USDA zones 2-11. Like begonias, there are also cosmos varieties with tubers which have a more restricted growing area.
Nasturtiums, also known as “tropaeolums,” are a relatively small genus compared to other popular summer flowers. These semi-tropical blooms tend to grow in shades of red, yellow, and orange.
These annuals are ideal for low-maintenance gardeners, as they require little care to thrive. In fact, you’re more likely to overwater them than neglect them.
Nasturtiums require a garden with full sun exposure and mixed soil with a balance between drainage and water retention. If you live in a dry area, plan to water these blooms weekly.
Plant nasturtiums directly in the soil in June after the risk of frost passes. These heat-loving blooms may come back as perennials in USDA zones 9-11. However, they lack cold resistance in USDA zones 2-8.
Zinnias are a heat-loving plant in the Heliantheae tribe. These blooms grow wild in Mexico but have become a worldwide favorite for summer gardens.
These true annuals require full sun exposure and minimal water. Zinnias are often found in deserts and scrublands, indicating their drought resilience. If you live in a dry, arid area or have a rough garden plot where everything else withers in the heat, zinnias will love it.
Plant your zinnias directly into the soil in June, providing ample space between seeds. While these blooms take a while to germinate, they have a long lifespan when they grow. You can extend their appearance by deadheading or snipping blooms throughout the growing season.
As these are true annuals, zinnias will thrive in almost any USDA zone.
Marigolds are one of the best annual flowers to plant in June. These vibrant red and orange flowers are known for their pungent fragrance. While the scent isn’t as appealing as roses or honeysuckle, it serves a purpose: Marigolds are the perfect companion plant for deterring pests from your flower or vegetable garden.
A member of the daisy family, marigolds are a great annual to plant in June. They require full sunlight and can tolerate acidic soil.
Plant marigold seeds directly in the soil when the danger of frost has passed. Give the seeds a thorough watering and maintain high humidity once the flowers have bloomed. Water daily in the morning or evening to avoid shock.
You can deadhead marigold blooms for continuous growth throughout the season. This versatile plant will thrive in USDA zones 3-11. While marigolds are annuals, they have self-seeding tendencies. Don’t be surprised if a few marigolds pop up next spring.
Salvia is a member of the sage family and is related to rosemary. This herbaceous bloom has small, delicate petals in shades of purple, red, and pink. Salvia is known for its long-lasting blooms and appeals to pollinators.
Salvia requires full sunlight and well-draining soil to thrive. While salvia grows best in neutral soil, it can tolerate some acidity.
Plant salvia directly into the soil in June, providing a thorough watering to establish the seeds. Water infrequently to offset drought periods and deadhead to prolong the growing season. Salvia will typically bloom until the frost hits in the fall.
You can plant salvia in most USDA zones. However, it may come back as a perennial in USDA zones 9-11.
Portulacas, also known as “moss rose,” is a tropical plant often used as ground cover. The vibrant flowers come in an array of colors and look similar to wild roses. Portulacas are a unique form of flowering succulents.
Moss rose plants prefer full sunlight. Like the zinnia, this bloom will flourish in dry, difficult patches where other plants fail. While portulacas is a ground-covering plant, it stays where planted rather than spreading and invading.
Plant portulacas directly into the soil in June to get the longest possible growing season. This flowering succulent prefers neutral, well-draining soil but will tolerate acidity.
This drought-resistant plant rarely needs watering and will grow in most USDA zones.
Love-in-a-mist, also known as “nigella,” is a unique annual named for its delicate foliage that creates a misty appearance around the bloom. Most gardeners prefer the pale blue variety, but this showstopper also grows in shades of pink and purple.
Nigella enjoys gardens with full sun but will tolerate partial shade. It also prefers neutral soil with adequate drainage.
The downside of the love-in-a-mist is its short blooming season. Avid gardeners work around this by planting in spurts. Plant your nigella seeds in bi-weekly sessions in June and July for continuous blooms. Once established, this self-seeding flower will take over.
Love-in-a-mist requires frequent watering and consistent humidity. Water daily in the morning or evening to prevent shock.
Cleome, also known as spider flowers, are named for their spindly foliage, which stems from a cluster of blooms. This tropical flower grows in shades of white, pink, and purple.
This tall annual attracts pollinators and looks great planted along fences. Cleome requires full sunlight and well-draining soil to thrive. While these tropical blooms are drought tolerant, they do best with plenty of humidity.
Plant your spider flowers directly in the soil in June. Note that these unique annuals look like weeds before the petals start blossoming, so be careful not to pull them out of your garden.
Cleomes will grow in most USDA zones and may come back as perennials in USDA zones 9-11.
Violas are a versatile family of flowers which includes both perennial and annual species. Pansies are a subset of the viola family, created through hybridization over time. Violets are also a well-known type of viola. There are hundreds of color combinations and patterns to choose from.
These fast-growing blooms thrive in full sunlight but tolerate partial shade. Violas are fairly resilient but should be watered during extended drought periods. These pretty blooms also prefer cool environments, so it’s better to plant in partial shade rather than direct overhead sunlight in hot regions.
You can extend the blooming season by deadheading spent petals. Plant directly into the soil in June and cut back the first sprouts to encourage full growth. Violas will grow in USDA zones 3-8 but perform best in cooler regions.
Sunflowers are an iconic summer annual, highlighting the beauty of midsummer and extending into the fall. These bright, sun-loving blooms range from 12 inches to 12 feet tall!
Plant your sunflowers in a plot with full sun exposure and well-draining soil. These towering blooms have deep root systems to support their growth and require ample room and loose soil to burrow down. They prefer alkaline, nutrient-rich soil to support their growth.
If you choose a giant variety, choose a sheltered area to protect them from the wind. Plant directly into the soil in June after the danger of frost has passed. These fan-favorite flowers will grow in most USDA zones.
12. Sweet Peas
Sweet peas are a delicate annual with a soft, inviting fragrance. This natural climber looks great placed along a trellis or stakes and attracts pollinators.
Don’t let their delicate appearance fool you: sweet peas are quite hardy. You can plant these seeds in early June as soon as the soil is workable, as .
Sweet peas prefer full sun to partial shade and well-draining late-season frosts won’t deter themsoil. Maintain soil moisture, offering daily to weekly waterings depending on the climate and weather. If the top inch of soil is dry, give your sweet peas a drink.
This annual can grow in most USDA zones but prefers cooler climates.
Impatiens, also known as “touch-me-nots,” are a delicate annual with soft, showy blooms. These flowers bloom in a variety of colors and have low-maintenance needs. Many gardeners prefer to grow them in hanging pots.
Plant impatiens in a spot that’s mostly shaded with a couple of hours of sunlight in the morning or late afternoon. These delicate blooms don’t do well in direct, overhead sunlight, making them a great alternative to many annuals on this list.
Impatiens prefer well-draining, nutrient-rich soil and won’t thrive in clay-heavy soil. They also require consistent moisture. If the top inch of the soil is dry, give these flowers a soak.
Touch-me-nots grow in most USDA zones but may come back as a perennial in USDA zones 9-11.
How to Care for Annuals in June
The key to caring for annuals in June is to follow each plant’s unique needs. Try to group plants with similar watering and fertilization requirements together for optimal growth.
Proactive care is best. Testing your soil and adding nutrients before planting will help your June annuals grow and thrive all season long. Most annuals prefer deadheading for continuous growth.
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