UMN 2020 Top 10 Performing Annual Flowers

This was originally published by the UMN West Central Research and Outreach center, you can find a link to the original PDF document below. Inside you'll also find honorable mentions and other sources.

Download PDF from UMN


Angelonia Aria Blue

Angelonia Aria Blue performed exceptionally well in both a container and in our garden landscape. Excellent uniform habit with good overall growth. Slightly larger plant, good flower stem strength and more flowers than the other 12 Angelonia cultivars we trialed in 2020.

Height = 12‐16”
Spread = 10‐12”
Bloom Time = Late Spring to Late Summer
Exposure = Full Sun

Begonia Dreams® Garden Macarouge

Begonia Dreams® Garden Macarouge flowered relentlessly all summer long with numerous eye‐catching single, scarlet‐red blooms with a yellow center plus clean dark green foliage. Excellent performance in our shady garden with minimal maintenance. Does best if grown in a container.


Height = Up to 14”
Spread = Up to 10”
Bloom Time = Early Summer to Fall
Exposure = Par????al Sun, Full Shade

Bracteantha Granvia® Gold

Bracteantha Granvia® Gold is a strawflower that had large bright yellow flowers and a center that turns orange as the flower ages. Trialed in a large block planter and exposed to very warm temperatures. These vigorous growing plants were resistant to mildew, a common disease found in earlier strawflower cultivars. Can be grown as a cut flower for fresh or dried displays.


Height = 18‐30”
Spread = 18‐24”
Bloom Time = Spring to Fall
Exposure = Full Sun

Gomphrena Truffula® Pink

Gomphrena Truffula® Pink the most outstanding feature of this cultivar was how early it flowered as compared to other gomphrena varieties we have trialed in the past. Had a well‐balanced habit that showed off numerous hot‐pink flowers that covered the plant. Truffula® Pink is a tough and durable plant that is easy to care for and requires no deadheading. Attracts many bees and butterflies. Can be used for cut and dried flowers.


Height = 22‐28”
Spread = 22‐26”
Bloom Time = Late Spring to Fall
Exposure = Full Sun

Marigold erecta Big Top™ Yellow

Marigold erecta Big Top™ Yellow is a very easy to grow marigold that has abundant fully double yellow blooms all summer long. Big Top™ Yellow is a vigorous cultivar with no disease issues and is well‐suited to challenging weather conditions. Occasional deadheading the old flowers will keep new buds coming, and you'll get even more color. This marigold is perfect for the gardener looking for an easy‐to‐grow annual from seed.


Height = up to 30”
Spread = 16‐24”
Bloom Time = Spring to Fall
Exposure = Full Sun

Petunia Amore™ Queen of Hearts

Petunia Amore™ Queen of Hearts is a unique bicolor petunia with red and yellow striped petals that displays five red hearts on each 2 1/2” blossom. Queen of Hearts has a semi‐trailing habit that grew exceptionally well and was smothered in eye‐catching flowers in our 2020 garden bed.


Height = 8‐12”
Spread = 12‐24”
Bloom Time = Spring to Fall
Exposure = Full Sun

Petunia SuperCal® Rose

Petunia SuperCal® Rose is a unique blend of petunia and calibrachoa that maintained bright vibrant flowers with no fading. This petunia had exceptional performance in both a hanging basket and in the display garden beds. Performed well all season, had numerous blooms, and bounced right back a????er a rain. No deadheading needed.


Height = 14‐24”
Spread = 14‐32”
Bloom Time = Spring to Fall
Exposure = Full Sun

Scaevola Surdiva Blue Violet

Scaevola Surdiva Blue Violet withstood our summer heat and provided continuous color throughout the season. The semi‐trailing habit is easy to grow and maintain in a hanging basket. Besides the outstanding blue violet flower color, the foliage remained bright green throughout the entire summer.


Height = 6‐10”
Spread = 18‐24”
Bloom Time = Mid‐Spring to Fall
Exposure = Partial Sun, Full Shade

Vinca Valiant™ Orchid

Vinca Valiant™ Orchid had superior garden performance in 2020. Its most outstanding feature was the uniformity of all the plants in our garden bed. The showy lavender star‐shaped flower blossoms with a white eye created a striking look in our full sun garden location. Its glossy leaves remain dark green in color all season long. Vincas will do well if you can provide plenty of sun, heat and drier conditions.


Height = 14‐20”
Spread = 10‐12”
Bloom Time = Spring to Fall
Exposure = Full Sun

Zinnia Double Zahara™ Yellow

Zinnia Double Zahara™ Yellow Improved features fully double, large bright yellow flowers with a very compact bushy plant. The flowers sit atop the clean green foliage and made a bold statement in our garden beds in 2020. For optimum performance, plant zinnias in a well–drained garden soil and occasional deadhead to improve appearance.


Height = 16‐20”
Spread = 16‐20”
Bloom Time = Spring to Fall
Exposure = Full Sun