Belgian Nursery Blog

May 4, 2023
Sun Annuals

Annuals for Sun

Here at Belgian, we transplant and grow thousands and thousands of Annuals, just for you! And to keep things running smoothly, we’ve organized our Annual Greenhouses into Sun (#12 to 20) and Shade (#8 to 11). So let’s take a look at the latter, shall we?

What Do We Mean By “Sun” Annuals?

All plants need sunlight, and some require more of the sun’s rays than others. Varieties that need and thrive on 6+ hours of direct sunlight are deemed “Sun” Annuals, while those that would cook and burn in such conditions are for “Shade”.

Full Sun vs Part Sun

We try to have as much plant care information on our Annual signs as possible; you may see some state “Full Sun” or “Sun to Part Sun” but what exactly does this mean?

Full Sun = Sun all day with little to no shade; minimal shade that does not exceed a few hours, either in early morning or late afternoon; typically a south- or west-facing location

Part Sun = Direct sun shining on the location for approximately half the day, particularly in the afternoon when sunlight is strongest; light filtering through a deciduous (maple, oak, etc) tree canopy for most of the day can be considered Part Sun

Highest Sun Energy Levels: 11am to 4pm

East Facing = Morning Sun            (good light, weaker energy levels)
South Facing = Full Sun                   (ideal vegetable growing location)
West Facing = Afternoon Sun      (excellent light with strong energy levels)

Remember that the sun’s energy is less intense in the morning and gets stronger as the day progresses, with the highest levels reaching your garden between 11am to 4pm. So if you need to reach for the SPF 80 to garden, chances are you’ve got a Full Sun location.

More Sun = More Water (Usually)

All Annuals will need regular and deep watering, and Sun Annuals typically dry out faster due to, well, the sun. Hanging baskets, planters, window boxes, and other container Annuals will also dry out faster, so expect to water all of these once or even twice a day in the summer heat waves – check your plants every day! To reduce soil evaporation, water in early morning before the sun hits those high energy levels; during the high heat of summer, you may have to add watering around supper time to allow the leaves to dry off before nightfall. Adding mulch to your garden beds will also help keep the water in the ground rather than vanishing into thin (hot) air.

Frost Warning!

All Annuals, including Vegetable plants, CANNOT tolerate frost or cold temperatures below 10°C! They should only be planted outside once the threat of such conditions has passed, usually around the May long weekend. If you choose to buy your Annuals early, be sure to keep them indoors and give them the light, water, and warmth that they need until it is safe to plant outside. You don’t want to risk any cold damage by relying on an unheated garage/shed, and having them under a porch roof or overhang still leaves them exposed on all other sides. Protect your investment: keep them inside.

Some of Our Favourite Sun Annuals!

Angelonia – Tall spikes of open blooms in vivid colours, like deep purple and bright cherry red.

Canna Lily – Instant tropical statement! Bold, upright tropical foliage in lush green or dramatic bronze, with vibrant blooms of red, orange, yellow, or pink!

Cuphea – ‘Allyson’ (False Heather) is just adorable with its tiny purple blooms over an arching mound of glossy green foliage; ‘Honeybells’, ‘Cherrybells’, and ‘Vermillionaire” are all pollinator magnets with bright and colourful tubular blooms!

Dahlietta – Fantastic fully double blooms in a wide range of colours and bicolour combinations! These compact growers are perfect for containers and garden borders!

Geranium – A true classic Sun Annual! The bold, vibrant blooms are available in an incredible range of colours and combinations, perfect for mixed containers and hanging baskets!

Lantana – A pollinator magnet with incredible colour combinations! Super fragrant, long blooming, and incredibly easy to care for!

Marguerite Daisy – Adorable daisy-like blooms with a bright yellow “eye”! Their bright colours really pop against the mound of ferny green foliage.

Portulaca/Purslane – Ideal for those hot and dry areas, the bright blooms and succulent-like foliage can handle the summer heat and drought!

Petunias – A classic choice for hanging baskets and containers! Masses of bright, beautiful, bell-like blooms in a wide selection of colours and combinations. Many series to choose from, including Wave, Double Vogue, Supertunia, Headliner, and more!

Calibrachoa (Mini Trailing Petunia) – Some call them “Million Bells”, we call them adorable! A mini version of a Petunia that looks incredible mounding over garden walls and container edges!

Sweet Potato Vine – The trailing foliage is perfect for hanging baskets and containers, and even makes a dense annual groundcover!

Annual Grasses – So many to choose from! Adds amazing height and colour to your gardens and containers!

Trailing Bamboo – So cool! This trailing green grass can grow well over 5 ft long, and looks incredible in hanging baskets!

Dragonwing & Solenia Begonias – Yes, Begonias are primarily a “Shade” Annual, but these 2 varieties can tolerate and even thrive in sunny locations! Dragonwing are known for their thick, arching bright green foliage, while Solenias offer gorgeous fully double blooms on upright mounds.

Sunpatiens – Like a New Guinea Impatien but it can handle Full Sun! Gorgeous blooms over lush foliage can grow up to 24” tall and wide!

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