Half Hardy Annuals Top Ten

Morning Glory 'crimson rambler'

What Are Half Hardy Annuals

  • Annuals grow from seed, flower, get pollinated, make more seed and die in the same year.
  • Half hardy annuals will die if it is too cold or frosty.
  • Half-hardy annuals must be sown under cover with gentle heat in February if they are to germinate and have a flying start.
  • Half-hardy annual plugs and plants can survive an odd chilly night temperatures 35 – 45 degrees F.
  • Tender annuals such as Begonias, Impatiens and Zinnia will not survive temperatures much below 50 F.
  • Half-hardy annuals die off as soon as the first frost arrives or after they have seeded whichever is sooner.

General Advice on Half Hardy Annuals

  • Sow thinly on the surface of trays or pots of good compost. Cover with grit.
  • Prick out into modules or big seed trays when true leaves are visible, then keep potting on until all danger of frost is gone and the plants are big enough to fend for themselves.
  • Annuals are great for creating instant effects as they flower quickly to squeeze in their whole life cycle during one summer.
  • Half-hardy annuals take loner to acclimatise to out door conditions of wind rain and cooler nights. Thus they need to be introduced to the outdoors slowly (Hardening Off).

Our Selected Top Ten Half Hardy Annuals



Nasturtium majus ‘Orange Troika’ or  Tropaeolum majus, Indian Cress

Marigold Tagetes patula, French and African Marigolds

Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Rubenza’

Dahlia variabilis ‘Bishop’s Children’

Lobelia erinus ‘Cascade Mixed’

Mesembryanthemum criniflorum ‘Apricot Tutu’ or Dorotheanthus bellidiformis, Livingstone Daisy, Ice Plant

Nemesia caerulea or Nemesia foetens and  Nemesia fruticans

Antirrhinum majus ‘Royal Bride’  a white Snapdragon

Tiny green bug


Busy Lizzie ‘Accent Mystic Mixed’ F1 Hybrid or Impatiens walleriana were originally in our top ten. However the last few crops have failed to produce the colourful displays we have come to expect due to a wilting disease.
We hope to reinstate these flowers in future lists. Perhaps we will extend our list to a top twenty,

crimson rambler’ by WindsurfGirl CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Tiny green bug by Badly Drawn Dad CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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