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WINTER FLOWERS IN INDIA: ANNUALS

The flowers: Colorful & fragrant, exude the joy of life. The most popular type of home gardens in India is annuals i.e. those which are raised from seeds, grow, bloom, seed & exhaust themselves during a season. These seasonal flowering plants have the advantage of a tremendous variety of color, size & form. They occupy the garden space in less time & can be easily replaced. Annuals can be grown in beds, herbaceous borders, as an edging, for window boxes pots, etc.
In India, winter is the best time to grow many different species of beautiful blooming annuals. The seeds of winter flowering annuals are sown in October-November. Some seedlings almost hibernate during the cold months of December & January & start growing as soon as the spring sets in. Let’s have a look at some of the best winter flowering annual plants that you can grow in your home garden:

1.Alyssum: The low growing plants that branch freely with usually white flowers which are honey scented. The compact plant looks like a carpet of flowers.
2. Antirrhinum (Snapdragon): Branching annual with numerous flowering spikes, mostly of crimson or white color. Many other colorful varieties of Snapdragon are used for bedding and pot culture.
3. Aster: China Aster is an excellent cut flower. The flower heads come in many different sizes, types & colors.
4. Calendula (Pot Marigold): The flowers vary from straw color to deep orange. This single or double flowering plant is useful for bedding, potting & for window boxes.
5. Clarkia: A hardy annual with slender branches & attractive long spikes of flowers. It can be grown as a pot plant.
6. Dianthus (Sweet William): Double or single fragrant, colorful flowers are born at the top of the branches in rounded clusters. The plant is suitable for beds, borders, rock gardens, or window boxes.
7. Hollyhock: This is a tall majestic annual. The large flowers are born in the axis of leaves all along the length of the stem. Hollyhocks can be used as a background plant, screen, open space shrubbery or annual border.
8. Larkspur: It is a very popular blue/mauve-purple/pink cut flower. The plant is grown as background or in front of a tall hedge or border & in pots.

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