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Annuals - Container Plants 2
Choosing only one colour can have a striking effect.

Annuals - Container Plants 2

This is the second of our quizzes about container gardening. Test your knowledge and at the same time learn a little about Bidens and Ivy Geraniums, Nasturtiums and Surfinias. The multiple choice answers ensure that you can always make an educated guess!

Don’t forget that you can click on any of the pictures to expand them and take a closer look for the answer.

Which of the following plants is not present in this hanging basket?
Photograph courtesy of
Tuberous Begonia
  • To do well hanging baskets need constant attention after planting:
  • Take off dead heads to prolong flowering.
  • Water frequently - remember that even a heavy rainstorm will probably not wet all the compost in a hanging basket!
  • Trim very vigorous plants to prevent them getting out of hand.
  • Feed once every week or fortnight.
  • Summer hanging baskets are the most popular but it well worth re-planting them in the autumn with Pansies, Primulas etc.
Coleus = red foliage, top left. Bacopa = white flowers. Impatiens = pink flowers top centre
Surfinias are closely related to which common vegetable?
Photograph courtesy of Kaiyanwong223
  • Surfinias are often called "Trailing Petunias" and that is exactly what they are.
  • New varieties are being bred all the time including some noteworthy double-flowered ones.
  • Especially successful in containers that are watered infrequently - they thrive in dry conditions.
  • If growing in a mixed container it might be necessary to prune them now and again to prevent them taking over.
Both Surfinias and Potatoes belong to the Solanaceae family
In this mixed assortment of annuals, which of the following plants is not present?
Photograph courtesy of Daves Portfolio
  • Patio containers are not generally exposed to drying winds as much as are hanging baskets and therefore they do not need quite as much water.
  • All containers will need regular feeding.
  • Don't be in too much of a rush to get planted up in the Spring - a late frost can do untold damage.
  • Don't try to do too much! One or two good containers will be more appreciated than twenty poor ones!
Brachcome = lilac flowers in centre. Lobelia = small blue and purple flowers in top right. Petunia = blue and white flowers in top left and pink flowers in bottom right
What type of Begonia is this?
Photograph courtesy of Kaiyanwong223
  • An old favourite and always reliable
  • Sometimes known as Wax Begonias because of their waxy-looking foliage.
  • Leaves are shiny and can be either green or brown.
  • Seeds are microscopic and difficult to germinate so it is usually best to buy plug plants or larger, potted plants.
  • Keeps its habit throughout the summer and does not go as leggy as Impatiens (with which it is often compared as a multi-use annual plant).
This is a closeup of a modern variety of which popular hanging basket plant?
Photograph courtesy of
Ivy Geranium
  • The scientific name is Pelargonium peltatum.
  • A native of South Africa which has been grown in Europe for over 300 years.
  • The illustrated plant is a close relative of the plants seen in the window boxes on picture postcard Swiss homes.
  • Grown from cuttings which are not always easy to root and therefore the plants are often expensive.
  • For best results grow in a situation that is shaded in the heat of the day.
What is the most popular variety of Bacopa for use in hanging baskets?
Photograph courtesy of
Shooting Stars
  • Carries a profusion of tiny white flowers that serve as a contrast to more vividly coloured plants in mixed plantings.
  • A pink form is available but is seldom seen.
  • Bacopa belongs to a family of mainly aquatic plants so it comes as no surprise that the plant likes its compost to be kept moist.
  • Starts life looking very delicate but quickly forms a dense mat of foliage that can hold its own against all other basket and tub plants.
What is the name of the yellow-flowered plant that is providing a striking contrast to the red Geraniums?
Photograph courtesy of Pcgn7
  • Masses of brilliant yellow flowers.
  • The species grown in hanging baskets and tubs is .... ferulifolia.
  • Performs best in full sun.
  • Spills over the side of containers and just keeps growing!
  • Usually one of the first plants to come into flower in a mixed planting and continues flowering all through the summer.
  • Pinch frequently in order to induce sideshoots and thereby produce a greater concentration of flowers.
This is a Diascia flower. How are named varieties propagated?
Photograph courtesy of
  • Sometimes called Twinspur because of the two unusual spurs on the back of each flower.
  • Thrives in full sun but will tolerate light shade.
  • Flowers for most of the summer provided that its compost is never allowed to completely dry out.
  • A delicate plant that can easily be smothered in a mixed planting of very vigorous plants.
  • Deserves a place of its own!
Nasturtiums belong to which plant genus?
Photograph courtesy of
  • Most frequently seen colours are reds, oranges and yellows but pink shades are also available.
  • Extremely fast grower.
  • A few seeds can be inserted into a hanging basket or other container at planting time - within a few weeks the Nasturtiums will have caught up with much bigger plants.
  • It seldom crowds out other plants, prefering instead to grow and trail into open spaces.
Which of the following common names is NOT used for Lysimachia Nummularia?
Photograph courtesy of Dufusis1ofus
Creeping Jenny
St John's Wort
Twopenny grass
  • This is one of the few patio plants that is hardy - it can withstand many degrees of frost.
  • Usually propagated from cuttings each year because older plants tend to look dishevelled.
  • A good trailing plant in hanging baskets but it needs to be kept constantly moist if it is to retain its shiny foliage and sparkling flowers.
St John's Wort is the common name of Hypericum


Author:  Colin King

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