Guest Author - Jessica Carson
There are a wide variety of annuals available in colors of yellow and orange which do very well in containers. Here are ten of my favorites chosen because of their ease of growth, resistance to disease, and long bloom time.
African Daisy - These are heat and drought tolerant and will bloom from late spring until frost. Deadheading encourages more/quicker rebloom. Full sun and moderate water. Grows to 18 high x 24 wide. Upright. Evergreen foliage and perennial in mild winter areas. Favorites: 'African Sun' 18 x 12 light to medium yellow. 'Bittersweet' 24 x 30 yellow, fading to cream with brownish-purple center, backs are yellow with brown stripe.
Bidens ferulifolia (Apache Beggartick and Fern-leaved Beggartick) Airy branching sprays of small leaves and 1-1 1/2 yellow daisy-like flowers. Does not require deadheading. Full sun and little water once established. Very heat tolerant. Grows up to 24 high x 30 wide. Beautiful in large containers with other flowers. A perennial in zones 9 to 11. Favorites: 'Marietta Gold Spark' with long trailing woody branches, 'Goldie' very compact, only 10-12 high and wide.
Calendula (pot marigold) - Full double daisy-like blooms from 2 to 5 across. Requires deadheading. Full sun and moderate water. Grows 8 to 24 high x 12 to 24 wide, depending on cultivar. Upright, slightly branching. Favorites: 'Citrus Smoothies' 20 x 24 pastel orange and yellows with pom-pom centers surrounded by longer flat petals. 'Citrus Cocktail' 8 x 12orange and yellow dwarf plants with daisy-like blooms- flowers throughout the summer.
Calibrachoa (miniature petunias) Million Bells(R) brand cultivars are the best I've seen with compact growth and blooms from spring through fall. Does not require deadheading. Full sun and moderate water. Grows 15 high x 20 wide, spreading and drooping. Wonderful trailing over the edge of large containers or in hanging baskets. Favorites: 'Crackling Fire', 'Terra Bella', 'Terra Cotta', and 'Lemons'
Coreopsis Ruffled daisy-like flowers on tall stems bloom late spring to fall. Requires dead-heading fro continuous bloom. Full sun and very little water once established. Grow from 10-36, depending on cultivar. Some are perennial, some annual. Favorites: 'Jethro Tull' 18 x 18, 'Presto' 8 x 8, 'Sunfire' yellow with red center 18 x 12, 'Early Sunrise' yellow semi-double 20 x 12
Cosmos Stay with the shorter varieties unless used as a center point of a very large container. Blooms summer through fall. Does not require deadheading. Full sun and moderate water. Shorter forms grow 12-20 high x 12 wide, upright. Tall varieties can grow as high as 6 to 8 feet. Favorites: 'Cosmic', 12-24 high x 12 wide, Orange, Yellow, Red (a deep orange-red) 'Polidor' 30 x 12 semi-double blooms ranging from light to deep orange.
Marigold African can grow as tall as 3 feet, French are shorter (6-18) and bushy. Require deadheading for continuous bloom summer through fall. Full sun and regular water. Favorites: 'Antigua' African 14 x 12 orange, yellow or gold 3 flowers, blooming all summer on compact plants. 'Tiger Eyes' French 12 x 12 Orange puffy centers framed by large swept-back deep red petals. 'Jane' French 8 x 12 double flowers range in color from true yellow to deep orange; 'Flame' is deep orange with gold-edged petals
Rudbeckia (Gloriosa Daisy or Blackeyed Susan) - A short-lived perennial often grown as an annual. Full sun and moderate water. Grow 18-24 tall and wide. Favorites: 'Cherokee Sunset' 24 x 24 semi-double and double 3-4 blooms in yellows, oranges, and bronzes. 'Autumn Colors' 24 x 24 single blooms in shades of yellow to deep orange with dark centers.
Snapdragon - these are actually a perennial but are grown as an annual. Deadheading promotes branching and prolonged bloom. Full sun and regular water, will tolerate partial shade. Favorites: 'Rembrandt' 18 x 12 orange blooms with yellow throat on bushy plants. 'Tahiti' 10 x 8 in a wide range of yellow, orange, peach and bi-colors.
Zinnia - Many are heat and drought tolerant and bloom from summer into early fall. Easy to keep looking fresh as new growth and flowers cover old and deadheading not necessary for continued bloom. Full sun and moderate water. Dwarf varieties grow 12-24 high and wide. Upright. Favorites: 'Dwarf Profusion', 12 x 12 Coral, Apricot, Fire, and Orange. 'Magellan', 12 x 14 Yellow, Orange, Coral.