Petunias are renowned for three reasons; they’ve been around forever, they’re generous bloomers and there’s a petunia to suit every season. Bellis, on the other hand, may sound more sexy and less common, but are precisely that, a sexy common daisy species and they are perfect for low-maintenance gardeners.
The petunia’s trumpet-shaped blooms have a spicy scent and come in a variety of colours, including bi-coloured and double varieties. Although bellis’ colours are limited to white, red and various shades of pink, their single-stemmed blooms vary from the more common looking daisy, with a single layer of elongated petals, to the multi-layered pompom-looking variety.
Plant these flowering annuals and be rewarded by blooms all summer long.
Flowering annuals to grow this summer — Petunias
The Petunia ‘Multiflora’ has masses of smaller flowers and is suited for planting in spring and summer in summer rainfall areas, their smaller flowers being more tolerant of rainfall, the same goes for ‘Millifloras’ (thousand flowers), which have small but prolific blooms.
Flowering annuals to grow this summer — Bellis
Bellis’ spoon-shaped leaves provide a lovely bed of green ground cover from which their bright disc-like blooms stand out singly and proudly.
Bellis need full sun and well-drained soil. An initial boost of compost and slow releasing fertiliser is all the pampering they’ll need. Water once a day until established and less frequently thereafter.
Some deadheading will be required and you will want to remove some of the lower leaves as needed.
In areas that don’t get frost, Bellis can be treated as a perennial — even more bang for your gardening buck.
Read more: Our favourite winter flowering plants
Information supplied by the Bedding Plant Growers Association. For more, go to lifeisagarden.co.za.