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Great Annuals to Plant in Zone 5 – Ontario

It’s the time of year where millions of people across Ontario flock to garden centres in search of annual plants to put in their gardens. There are dozens of plants to choose from across the different varieties and species.

Annuals are plants that last one season then die. They are grown from seeds either by a nursery or a home gardener. The main aesthetic use of annuals is to provide colour to a garden as many perennials (plants that last more than one season) do not have bright flowers, especially at a low standing height.

Below are some great annual options that do well in zone 5! Don’t know what zone you’re in? Look up your hometown here. Barrie, Ontario is now zone 5b. Now is a great time to plant your annuals in this area.


These sweet little flowers are adorable. They’re smaller than common pansies but have similar “faces” on their tiny blooms. They are also edible – be sure to check on the type you have to ensure they’re safe before eating.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska


This is hands-down my favourite plant. It makes me feel like I’m in a fairytale when light purple alyssum line my pathways. You can find them in white, purple and magenta. You may get some alyssum sprouting the next year depending on the frost severity in the fall but typically you should replant each year in zone 5.

Photo by Mareefe


These tall cones of medium flowers are showstoppers and come in a variety of bold colours. Their blooms are said to look like tiny faces of dragons, which is where they get their name.

Photo by Ashkan Forouzani


These large blooms look like a one-sided puffball of bright colour. They come in yellow, white, orange, pink and red. They can be used in bouquets or as a tall pollinator attractor, depending on the type. They are similar to dahlias but with more rounded petals.

Photo by Ekaterinna Popgeorgieva

Baby’s Breath

Simple and elegant, Baby’s Breath is a cut-flower essential that also will fill those awkward gaps in your garden without being overpowering. Their white blooms add brightness against dark soil or shrubs.

Photo by jisoo kim

There are plenty more annual options that can brighten up your garden. A nice thing about annuals is that they are not permanent. This means you can change up the colours of your garden year after year with different varieties. This year, the gardens around me are largely purple and yellow. Yellow is the garden colour of the year for our neighbourhood!

What annuals are you planting this year? Let me know what your faves are and any colour preferences in the comments below.

Don’t forget to tag @wellgrownhome on Instagram or use #wellgrownhome for a chance to be featured and so others can find your beautiful gardens.


Published by sarahelletyler

I run Well-Grown Home, a plant blog, with passion. I'm additionally interested in public relations, video editing, painting, photography, makeup and communications.

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