Annual flowers are flowers that live for a single season-perhaps starting in the spring and dying off in the fall. These plants will need to be replanted every year. Some species of annual flowers thrive in full sun, others in full shade, but some do well in partial shade. When gardening, it is important to choose flowers that thrive in the light conditions for a specific area, as a full shade plant will quickly perish in full sun conditions.
Asters are popular flowering plants due their beautiful flowers. They come in multiple colors, from white to various shades of pink, yellow and orange. Some cultivars can grow anywhere from 8 inches in height to 24 inches in height, making them ideal for use in garden beds or as cut flowers. China Asters will thrive in either sun or semi-shade, depending on the exact cultivar.
Also known as ageratum, the floss flower produces flowers in shades of white, pink and blue. They can be planted in both sun or partial shade, where they will grow between 8 and 10 inches in overall height, though some cultivars may grow taller at up to 2 feet in height.
Impatiens are readily available and found at practically every nursery and garden center during the growing seasons. They come in many different colors including reds, purples, yellows, pinks and oranges. Impatiens may produce either single bloom flowers or double bloom flowers, depending on the exact cultivar. They range in size, again based on cultivar, from 8 inches up to 3 feet tall. These flowers will thrive in containers or in garden beds when placed in partial shade.
Better known as the gerbera daisy, this sun or partial shade loving flower comes in multiple colors from magentas to oranges, reds and every shade in between. Some cultivars can reach heights of up to 24 inches, while other cultivars may stay smaller at 8 inches. Gerbera daisies are ideal as bedding plants or in containers.
Wax begonias feature dark green or bronze leaves with thick flowers ranging in color from white to salmon, from pink to red. Some cultivars can be up to a foot in height. Wax begonias can thrive in either shade or sun, making them an excellent choice for both container or garden bed planting. These flowers are known to be extremely durable, according to Cindy Haynes of Iowa State University’s Department of Horticulture.
The wishbone flower, also known as Torenia in some circles, features tubular flowers that come in shades of pink, purple, white, blue or yellow. From a distance, these flowers may resemble snapdragons. The wishbone flower gets it’s name from the fused stamens, which are give the flower the appearance of a wishbone. This partial shade plant will thrive when planted in window boxes, various containers or directly in a garden bed.
University of Kentucky: Annual Flowers
Flower Gardening Tips: 7 Annuals That Grow in Shade
Iowa State University: Annuals for Shade