University of Illinois Extension
Annuals for Specific Locations - Gardening with Annuals - University of Illinois Extension

Annuals for Specific Locations

Most annuals will do well in Illinois if given the proper location and care. There are, however, certain annuals that may tend to do better in some locations than others. Proper plant selection can provide cool weather color, brighten a shady spot, dress up a hot dry location or accent an open sunny area.

For Shady Location

Rare is the plant that will flower in heavy shade, but many do well with four hours or less of direct sunlight. Plants must often compete with trees and shrubs for moisture and nutrients. If the shade is due to structures, proper plant selection is important. Here are a few suggested plants for shade areas. For very heavy shade select impatiens, begonia, coleus, browallia, fuchsia and torenia. For light shade, lobelia, nicotiana, red salvia, pansy, alyssum, dusty miller, impatiens, begonia, ageratum, and dianthus are suggested.

For Sunny Location

Hot and dry areas are common along the edges of pavement or in front of light colored, south facing walls. Intense heat dries the ground quickly and tests the staying power of most annuals. Protect plants in these locations with a thick mulch and water thoroughly. Here are some plants that do well in hot dry areas: amaranthus, celosia, vinca, gazania, melampodium, ornamental pepper, blue salvia, zinnia, verbena, portulaca, dusty miller, petunia, and strawflower.