Tall Annuals for the Flower Border

The importance of tall annuals for the middle to back of the perennial bed is very often overlooked. Tall annuals can add color to the garden in late summer when there is only "yellow" in the garden and they are wonderful, beautiful plants in their own right. They should have a defined spot in the perennial border since they bloom like troopers til' frost, long after most of our favorite perennials are going to sleep! Plant them in May and most of these will begin their bloom in July.

Here is a list of wonderful tall annuals that McArdle's carries:

Abelmoshus manihot - Beautiful, pale yellow Hibiscus-like flowers with a deep purple throat. They need room, as they grow to 5-6', and lots of sun - Plant three in a group for a really good show. These tall plants need staking as they mature.
Abutilon (Flowering Maple) - We have lots of varieties. All great fun. This plant does really well on the edge to middle of your perennial border and will do very well in part shade. They look like small old-fashioned holly hocks. Great charm available in many colors, some with variegated foliage. A must to try, you will be pleased.
Agastache - Three feet of wonderful Salvia-like blooms! They come in purple, pink and orange and we carry them all. Their silvery foliage is fragrant when brushed or bruised. Hummingbirds and butterflies love this beautiful annual, which needs half a day of sun or more. Deer resistant!
Ageratum 'Blue Horizon' -  A relative of the shorter common Ageratum. Powder blue puffs on 3' stems. Really a joy in a sunny spot in the middle of a perennial border. Deer resistant!
Amaranthus - Want drama in your garden? Then this annual is the one for you. Deep red or chartreuse tassels on three-foot tall, leafy plants.  Loves the heat, adores the sun and is perfect in the middle of a perennial border - save a spot. Beautiful in a vase.
Ammi major 'Green Mist' - If you love Queen Ann’s Lace, you will love this annual; looks just like it. Wonderful, old-fashioned chartreuse turning to white flowers grows to 3'.
Asclepias - Butterflies come from all over to seek this annual out. Orange, pink and yellow mix together to make this flower. Beautiful in a sunny spot, growing to 3-4'.
Cleome - Tall, feathery plants are great planted in clumps. Delicate flowers come in shades of purple, pink, and white. Easy, carefree, self sows, and is a joy in the middle to back of your perennial border plants range from 3'-5', some times taller. Deer resistant!
Cosmos - What can we say? Every garden needs it, available in white or pink. Great from the tall 4'sensation hybrids to the dwarf 2' sonata variety wherever you need old-fashioned flowers. Lots of sun brings out the best in this annual. Provides cut flowers from summer until frost. Deer resistant!
Gomphrena (Globe Amaranth) - Fun grouped together to form a bright, cheerful sweep of color in your sunny perennial edge. Wonderful dried flowers and a great addition for a cut arrangement. Bright pink, purple, and lavender flowers top two-foot plants. Deer resistant!
Nicotiana -  Lots of different ones, all great.
Langsdorffi - has great green bells.
Sylvestris - is large with white trumpet shaped blooms that are fragrant.
Lime Green - has lime green flowers.
Ruellia - A nice airy plant that grows to 4' and has large blue blooms. Tuck it into the summer perennial border for a nice touch and a little something different.
Salvia guaranitica - Gentian blue flower bloom from July through frost. Absolutely beautiful and hummingbirds love it! Tall 5' plants like sun, but can handle part day-shade. For shorter Salvia with the same gentian blue flowers pick 'Black and Blue'. Keep a spot for this one! All Salvias are deer resistant!
Salvia x 'Indigo Spires' - Dramatic, densely flowering deep violet-blue spikes, fills the back of the garden. Tuck in by a Lythrum or Phlox, 'David' for a great show, nice cutting flower.
Salvia leucantha (Mexican Bush Sage) - This one is worth the wait! It blooms in September when the garden needs a boost, and does this plant give one! A 4-foot shrub with a great number of flowering stalks produces a blast of violet-purple color. Its an exceptional cut flower and dries well, what more can we ask for in September!
Salvia mexicana 'Tula' - Another late blooming wonder creates a plant that is 5-6' tall with outrageous flowers that are lime green and deep gentian blue. Unbelievable and worth the wait. A great way to keep your perennial border dancing til' frost.
Tithonia rotundifolia 'Fiesta de Sol' (Mexican Sunflower) - these annual needs lots of room as it could easily grow 4' tall and 4' wide! A plant that has heart-shaped leaves and a bold fiery red color. It will keep your garden hopping until frost!
Verbena bonariensis - A well deserved garden favorite. Butterflies and humming birds love it and it mixes well into any flower combinations, giving the perennial border a lift. Self sows, so you may have little ones next year. Also a great cut flower, surely a must! Grow several of these 3' plants together for best effect in the middle of your sunny border, as this is a great see through plant.

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