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Petunias are a heat-loving annual that go full blast into fall. Flowering sometimes slows down in late summer but you can coax more show from summer plants by not only removing the faded trumpet-shaped flowers but pinching off the seedpods as well. This, along with plenty of water and sunshine, will keep petunias going until a hard freeze. Flowers come in almost every color, and some bring their own contrast with bicolored blooms. These purple petunias are shown with lavender and Diamond Frost euphorbia.
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These pink and magenta impatiens are hard to miss, which is sort of the point. No wonder they’re a mainstay in shade gardens, where color can be tough to come by. Keep them well watered and fed and they’ll reward you with nonstop bloom. They’re also self-cleaning, meaning they drop their faded blooms without deadheading. Recently, bedding impatiens have experienced some fungal disease problems in some areas of the country, but New Guinea impatiens can be substituted where that is a concern.
Photo: V J Matthew/Shutterstock
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Perhaps the easiest bedding annual to propagate is also the easiest bedding annual to grow. Marigolds need little more than water and an occasional shot of fertilizer. Regular deadheading (just pinch the faded flowers between thumb and forefinger) will keep these colorful stalwarts blooming until a hard freeze. Let a few flowers go to seed in fall and you’ll end up with a new batch of marigolds next year.