Annuals provide color from the time of planting into early fall. Inexpensive, easy-to-grow and gorgeous ~ annuals are great for changing the look of your garden from year-to-year and filling in around those bulbs and perennials. A few early-blooming annuals that are safe to plant now include petunias, marigolds, snapdragons, geraniums, million bells, dianthus and verbena. Some annuals do not handle frost very well and we recommend waiting until after the last average frost date to plant them outside. These include favorites like hibiscus, mandevilla, coleus, gomphrena, iceplant and portulaca.
Average Last Frost Dates for Hampton Roads:
Virginia Beach & Norfolk: April 1
Hampton & Chesapeake: April 10
Newport News, lower York County and Poquoson: April 15
Upper York Co. and Williamsburg: April 25
TIP: Hardening Off Helps
If your annuals are straight out of the greenhouse and tender, you may need to acclimate them to the outdoors in the sun and wind conditions, before you plant them in the garden. This process is called "hardening off". If you don't take the time to do this, your plants may be stressed when you transplant them into the ground.