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Closeup of a red geranium flower and leaves, source:
Needing some serious visual impact for the yard? It's not too late to plant your curbside garden or front porch containers with bright, heat-tolerant annuals. If you're on a tight budget, however, choose carefully. Opt for plants that are cheap, tough, vibrantly hued and fast-growing.

Looking for suggestions? Allow me to share with you my 5 favorite summer-loving annuals:

1. Dusty Miller
2. Geranium
3. Impatiens
4. Coleus
5. Melampodium

5 Budget-Friendly Annuals for Late Summer Color(click thumbnails to view gallery)

Dusty MillerGeraniumImpatiensColeusMelampodium

Why are these plants so great? Several reasons, actually. They all offer color galore through the hottest weeks of summer. They are pretty easy to grow, too, requiring nothing more than regular watering. Plus they all grow well in temperate zones up to first frost.

Seedlings are cheap and sprout quickly into big, bushy adult plants, about a foot or more tall and equally as wide. Geranium (incidentally, not a true annual in most zones) is the exception, but it's most often sold in semi-mature form. In other words, these plants all offer lots of bang for the buck!

Growing tip: While they are all pretty fail-proof, moisture is a must. Mulch well to maximize water retention and (unless you're using container plant potting mix) dig organic matter into the soil as well.

Click on my slideshow to learn more about these leafy beauties!

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