15 Colorful Annual Flowers

Bright and colorful annuals for your garden

Annual flowers are great for brightening up your garden and you can change up the color scheme each year, so you never get bored.

There are many brightly colored annual flowers that are easy to grow and in this article I’ve listed my top 15 colorful annuals to add color and interest to your garden.

If you’re a gardener that loves bright colors (like me!), you’re sure to find some great options on this list.

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Bright colored flowers

1. Petunia (Petunia × atkinsiana)

Petunias are one of the most popular colorful annuals.

They look great in garden beds, pots and hanging baskets.

Sprinkle petunia seeds in the garden in early spring and you’ll have colorful blooms all through summer. 

Colorful flowers

2. Marigold (Tagetes)

Marigolds are easy to grow annuals with beautiful bright yellow and orange flowers.

They grow best in full sun and bloom during spring and summer.

Marigold seeds can be planted in the garden after the danger of frost has passed, or started indoors four to six weeks before the last frost.

Marigold flowers

3. Pansy

Pansies are frost hardy annuals that bloom from fall to winter in hot climates and from spring to summer in cool climates.

They come in a variety of colors and they’re great for garden beds, borders and containers in full sun or partial shade.

Pansy flowers are edible and can be used in salads or as a decoration.

Pansy flowers

4. Snapdragon (Antirrhinum Majus)

Snapdragons are beautiful, brightly colored annual flowers that grow from 1 to 3 feet high.

They grow best in cool climates in full sun to partial shade.

Snapdragon seeds can be started indoors about six to ten weeks before planting outdoors.

5. Annual Begonia (Begonia semperflorens)

Annual Begonias, also known as Wax Begonias have beautiful bright red, pink and white colored flowers.

Some varieties have green foliage and others have reddish brown leaves for added color.

Annual begonias grow well in full sun but they will need some afternoon shade in areas with hot summer temperatures.

It’s best to water annual begonias at the base to avoid fungal diseases.

Annual begonias

6. Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus)

Nasturtiums are brightly colored annuals with beautiful orange, red and yellow edible flowers.

They look great growing in hanging baskets and window boxes.

Nasturtium seeds can be planted directly in the garden or containers after the last frost of the season when the soil is warm.

In colder areas, you can plant the seeds in containers indoors and transplant them to the garden in spring.

RELATED: How To Grow Nasturtiums

Grow nasturtium

7. Celosia (Celosia Cristata)

Celosia, also known as Cockscomb, have bright colorful flowers in a range of colors including orange, yellow, pink and purple.

They grow best in full sun with rich soil. Fertilizing every couple of weeks during flowering will help to produce large, brightly colored blooms.

Celosias are beautiful cut flowers and they’re great for dried flower arrangements.

Colorful annual flowers

8. Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

Calendulas are easy to grow annuals with bright yellow and orange edible flowers.

They can be grown in a position with full sun or partial shade.

Regular deadheading will help to prolong the flowering time.

Colorful annuals

9. Dianthus

Dianthus is a beautiful annual with pink, red and white flowers.

They’re great for garden beds and containers in a position with full sun.

Dianthus can tolerate light frosts but not prolonged freezing temperatures.

RELATED: 5 Winter Flowering Annuals

Dianthus flowers

10. Sunflower (Helianthus)

Sunflowers are fast growing annuals with large yellow flowers.

They grow best in full sun and bloom during the summer months.

Sunflower seeds can be planted directly in the garden in spring and they’ll begin to flower in about 10 weeks.


11. Primrose

Primroses come in a range of colors including pink, purple, red, white, blue, orange and yellow.

They usually bloom in spring, but they will flower in mid to late winter in areas with mild winters.  

Primroses can withstand light frosts but not freezing temperatures.


12. Impatiens

Impatiens, also known as Busy Lizzie, is a beautiful annual with bright colored flowers including red, pink, white and purple.

They grow well in partial shade and need regular watering.

Impatiens can be fertilized every two weeks throughout spring and summer to promote more brightly colored blooms.

Impatiens flowers

13. Portulaca (Portulaca grandiflora)

Portulaca is an ideal ground cover annual with flowers in variety of colors including red, pink, yellow, orange, white and cream.

It has fleshy foliage that retains moisture well so it doesn’t need to be watered too often.

Portulaca reseed easily and usually come back every year.

Portulaca colorful flowers

14. Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus)

Cosmos are beautiful, bright annuals that come in a range of colors including red, pink, yellow, orange, white and maroon.

They’re drought tolerant, fast growing and flower best in soil that isn’t too rich.

Cosmos prefer a full sun position but they need to be protected from strong winds.

Cosmos flower

15. Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus)

Sweet peas bloom in late winter to early spring and they’re great for trellises and archways.

Sweet peas come in a huge range of colors from right across the color spectrum.

There are even some varieties of sweet peas that change color as they mature. [1]

It’s important to keep Sweet peas deadheaded because they will stop flowering once they go to seed.

Sweet pea annuals

So there’s my list of 15 colorful annual flowers for your garden.

Whether you choose plants with a single color or a rainbow of different colors, your garden is sure to stand out with these beautiful flowers.


Which of these colorful annuals is your favorite? Let me know in the comments below.

Are you on Pinterest? I have boards dedicated to Flower Gardening and Garden Ideas that you may enjoy. You can also find me on Facebook.

15 Colorful annual flowers

Colorful annual flowers for gardens and containers

Kelly Martin

Hi, I'm Kelly Martin, a landscape gardener and designer with over 10 years experience. I have a passion for small space gardening and I love designing and creating beautiful outdoor spaces that maximize the potential of small urban gardens. Read more

This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. Emily Zielinski

    These flowers are all so stunning! Flowers instantly brighten up my mood whenever I have them in the house!

  2. Bill Sweeney

    Quite a variety of annuals to choose from! Or, if you’re undecided like me, just plant some of all of them! That would make for an awesome garden.

  3. Emman Damian

    Marigold (Tagetes) and Cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus) are both my favorite flowers. It’s easy to grow too. My mom loves it too!

  4. Sarah Emery

    What a lovely and colorful list. I love snapdragons and how multi colorful they are.

  5. Krisy

    I must admit that I am not familiar with half of these until now! All look so beautiful! Thank you for introducing them!

  6. Ntensibe Edgar Michael

    Nnnniiiicccceeeeee….I love Primrose! For some reason, I don’t know why I keep on mixing it up with the Sunflower.

  7. joy

    These flowers are all so lovely! and so happy! Thanks for introducing me to some new ones.

  8. Rosey

    So many beautiful flowers. I see a lot of people taking pictures with sunflowers. Must be their season to shine. 🙂

  9. Melanie williams

    How fab are all these beautiful flowers. I think it makes such a difference to any garden for sure x

  10. Autumn Murray

    All of the flowers are beautiful. But my favorite would have to be Cosmos. I didn’t have time to plant any annuals this year.

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