Top Five Foliage Annuals for Your Garden

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Most gardeners buy plants that have bounties of colorful flowers throughout the growing season. Annual plants top the list for quick, bright color. However, in between all those blossoms, a selection of foliage plants can offer a fabulous alternative. Not only do foliage annuals create a pleasant backdrop for the blooms, they can be just as attractive in their own right.

Amaranthus Foliage Annual


Amaranthus foliage comes in a multitude of colors from bright red to bronze to green. They are large plants that enjoy full sun, growing from two to five feet tall. This foliage annual also has drooping flowers through the summer season.

Ornamental Cabbage Foliage Annual


If you live in a temperate climate, you have seen ornamental cabbage or kale planted in the cooler autumn months. This annual plant comes in varying shades or white, cream, green, pink, and red. They grow in ruffled clumps and look best in large arrangements.

Coleus Foliage Annual


For sun or partial shade, no foliage annual beats coleus for its variation and beauty. No matter what color or leaf shape you prefer, coleus can provide. Some varieties are green with hot pink centers. Others are deep velvety red, chartreuse, striped, or creamy white.

Euphorbia Foliage Annual


Emerald green euphorbias provide a brilliant backdrop to lower growing annuals plants. These foliage annuals are hardy and can grow into three-foot tall bushes. If the bright green is not your style, the variegated variety provides increased interest with white-trimmed leaves.

Castor Oil Plant Foliage Annual


In warmer climates, the castor oil plant can survive for more than one year. In colder climates, this impressive foliage annual will grow up to five feet tall in the course of a year and then die back with frost. With its giant red and green umbrella-like leaves, the castor oil plant is a true accent piece.

A garden is more than a collection of flowers. Planting foliage annuals can create a natural beauty with textural interest and increased color. Whether you simply want to offset your blooms with glossy green, or make a bold statement, foliage annuals work.


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