Our short Wisconsin growing season lends itself well to the exuberant color and lush abundance of annuals. These plants grow quickly and bloom prolifically all summer long, bringing a tropical feel to your outdoor living spaces. We asked our staff to select one favorite annual. A tough task indeed, with so many fabulous plants to choose from! Here’s the list:

Heyden's Gardens staff cheryl henschel hex



cheryl shapdragons

Snapdragons are an old-fashioned cottage garden favorite. They produce flowers in every color imaginable on sturdy stems ranging in height from 6” to 36”. They perform best in cool weather so are ideal for color in the spring and autumn garden. Snaps are fantastic cut flowers.

Heyden's Gardens staff cheryl henschel hex


Jewels-of-Opar (Talinum)

melissa talinum

Jewels-of-Opar is a great accent plant for combination container plantings. Its bright chartreuse, slightly succulent leaves provide a splash of bright foliage color. In summer small airy pink flowers appear on delicate dark-colored stems, followed by glossy bead-like red fruit. Prefers full sun and well-drained soil. Height 12”-24”. Self-seeds.

Heyden's Gardens staff zannah crowe hex


Dahlia Mystic Illusion

Heyden's Gardens staff cheryl henschel hex

This Dahlia is a show stopper! Dark-colored, near-black foliage contrasts strikingly with the brilliant yellow flowers accented with a dark central disk. A single plant can grow to shrub-like proportions so it is best used as a specimen. Tuberous dahlias can be dug and stored from year to year. Zannah has had some of her dahlias for over a decade!