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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.
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Dahlias are tender bulbous plants that hit their summer plants stride in late summer. They come in a wide range of flower colors and plant heights, so they can fit into most garden situations. Taller dahlias should be staked, but shorter varieties can support themselves. Keep these summer plants deadheaded and they’ll bloom until frost. Where winters are cold, dig up tubers after a killing frost and store them in sawdust or peat moss in a cool, dry area. Replant in spring.
Photo: Peter Turner Photography/Shutterstock
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Begonias and Dusty Miller
Here’s a nice combination that won’t peter out any time soon. The silvery foliage of the dusty miller makes a great companion for the diminutive wax begonias, helping catch the eye from a distance. The begonias, meanwhile, do their best work up close, where they can better be admired. They’re neat and compact—often under 6 inches in height—and they don’t require deadheading or pinching.
Photo: How to Build Patio Planters
Photo: Pichai Tunsuphon/Shutterstock