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Spring & Summer Annuals Plant Bio: Podcast Ep#94

Annuals are what bring life to any porch, deck, window box, landscape, or patio for several months out of the year! With all the options out there, don't you want to learn a little bit more about them too?

This blog post is great place to find the list of plants but the podcast episode goes into much more detail about each plant!

*** FYI, I will be referencing commonly used terms within the horticulture industry when talking about container gardening, such as "Thriller," "Filler' and Spiller." The best container gardens have a taller, more prominent plant, called "Thriller;" a mid-height plant that fills the middle of the container called "Filler"; and a plant that hangs off the edge of the container, bringing your eyes down, called "Spiller." In the picture to the left the the Geranium is the "Thriller," the Petunia and Marigold is the "Filler," and the Alyssum with Livingstone Daisy is the "Spiller".***

Spring/ Cold Weather Annuals

Even though these are rates to tolerant the cooler weather in spring, they still can do great in summer.

  • Pansy (Viola x wittrockiana)- filler plant

  • Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus)- Could be a thriller or filler since they can come in tall and short varieties

  • Nemesia (Cape Snapdragons)- filler plant

  • Osteospermum (African Daisy)- filler plant

  • Dianthus (Carnation)- low filler plant

  • Geranium (Cranesbills)- thriller or filler

  • Sweet Alyssum (Lobularia maritima)- low filler or spiller

Sun Loving Summer Annuals

  • Caladium, Colocasia, Alocasia- thriller

  • Grasses- thriller

    • Cyperus papyrus- Queen Tut, Prince Tut, King Tut

    • Isolepsis- Fiber Optic Grass

    • Pennisetum- Firework's Fountain Grass

    • Lemon Grass (Cymbopogon citratus)

    • Juncus effusus (Spiral Rush)

  • Salvia splendens (Sage)- thriller or filler

  • Angelonia- Summer Snapdragon- filler

  • Cosmos bipinnatus (Garden Cosmos)- filler

  • Zinnia elegans- filler

  • Dahlia x hortensis- filler

  • Gerber Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)- filler

  • Celosia (Woolflowers)- filler

    • Celosia agentea var. plumosa (Feather Celosia, Plumed Celoisa)

    • Celosia agentea var. cristata (Cockscomb- looks like the head of a rooster)

    • Celosia spicata (Wheat Celosia, Flamingo Feather)

  • Lantana camara- filler

  • Marigold (Tagetes)- filler

  • Petunia- filler

  • Candytuft (Iberis umbellata)- filler

  • Scaevola aemula- Fan Flower- filler or spiller

  • Verbena- filler or spiller

  • Fuchsia magellanica (Lady's eardrops)- spiller

  • Euphorbia (Diamond Frost)- spiller that can be a filler

  • Lobelia erinus (Edgina Lobelia)-  spiller that can be a filler

  • Floss Flower (Ageratum houstonianum)- low filler

  • Bacopa (Sutera cordata)- spiller that can be a filler

  • Calibrachoa (Million Bells, Trailing Petunia)- spiller that can be a filler

  • Portulaca grandiflora (Moss Rose, Common Purslane)- low filler

  • Portulaca umbraticola (Wingpod Purslane)- spiller that can be a filler

  • Livingstone Daisy (Aptenia cordifolia)- spiller

  • Dichondra argentea, Dichondra repens (Silver Falls)- spiller

  • Licorice Plant (Helichrysum petiolare)- spiller

  • Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia)- spiller

Shade Loving Summer Annuals

  • Coleus scutellarioides (Painted Nettle, Trailing Coleus)- thriller or filler

  • Begonia- filler or low filler

    • Begonia × tuberhybrida (Tuberous Begonia)

    • Begonia x semperflorens-cultorum (Wax Begonia, Bedding Begonia, Fibrous Begonia)

    • Begonia 'Argenteo-guttata' (Angel Wing Begonia, Cane Begonia)

    • Begonia rex-cultorum (Rex Begonia)

  • Persian Shield (Strobilanthes dyerianus)- filler than can be a spiller

  • Impatiens- filler or low filler

    • Impatiens walleriana (Busy Lizzy)

    • Impatiens hawkeri (New Guinea impatiens)

  • Sweet Potato Vine, Sweet Caroline (Ipomaea)- spiller that can be a filler

Instagram Q&A

I always ask followers if they had any specific questions, opinions or hot-takes I can address in this podcast and blog. Here are the questions and answers for this topic:


"Best annual pot pairings in your opinion?!"

  • Creeping Jenny for the spiller, Lobelia for the in between spiller and filler, Angelonia and Petunias for the filler, Fireworks Fountain Grass for the thriller

"Best time to pot the annuals? Mother's Day safe in the Midwest you think??"

  • Usually Mother's Day is the standard that most people would say but it's dependent on the last frost. The average last frost is the end of April.

"Best full sun annuals? Wisconsin resident here!"

  • Petunia, Marigold, Celosia, Salvia, Calibrachoa, Livingstone Daisy, Creeping Jenny, Dichondra Silver Falls

"A random violet is growing in our yard... best place to replant it!"

  • This could be a weed so I would do your research before you start replanting it!



Go to Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Audible, and more! Search for Houseplant Homebody to hear this episode and MANY more! You can also listen directly on my website under the Podcast page!


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Always written with extreme plant passion!

Love, Holly (Owner & Creator of Houseplant Homebody LLC)


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