Provided is a list of annuals and perennials that grow well in very poor soil. If additional information is required about the plant, please use the search feature on the page.
Bartonia (Mentzelia aurea)
Were it not for the straggling growth, Barlonia aurea (Menlzelia lindleyi) would be a much more popular annual. The glistening, Poppy-like flowers are golden and are furnished with countless stamens at the center. The petals have an abrupt, sharp point. The flowers are fragrant at night. The foliage is gray, hairy, and deeply lobed and sometimes appears almost like compound leaves. The plants grow 1 to 4 feet tall.
California Poppy (Eschscholtzia californica)
Eschscholzia californica has basal leaves, up to 8 inches long, that are very finely divided and pale bluish-green. Funnel-shaped, single flowers are satiny and cheerful, to 2 inches wide. Sowing seeds in place is not a good transplant. In mild winter areas, sow in the fall, in colder regions sow in early spring.
Calliopsis (Coreopsis tinctoria)
Generally, the seed of Calliopsis is sown in the Fall or earliest Spring when the plants are to bloom and the seedlings thinned to stand 8 inches to 12 inches apart. They prefer a sunny spot. The plants often self-sow so that a constant supply of Calliopsis is assured if given light protection through the Winter. They are apt to bloom themselves to death, generally becoming unsightly in mid-July. It is too much of a task to remove the seedheads of such a tiny flower. If worms attack these plants at the crown, it is wise to grow them in another spot the next year.
Corn Poppy (Papaver Rhceas)
There are Poppies and Poppies, old-fashioned ones and new varieties, and it would almost seem that they grow more dazzling and more gorgeous each year. Perhaps they are grown in a greater number of gardens and we see their brilliant colors everywhere during the early Summer months, or perhaps, we too have learned the secret of growing these delicate silken flowers which constantly command attention. What more startling effect could be gained than by having a mass of Giant Oriental Poppies (Papaver orientale) stand out boldly against? a dense background of dark evergreens?
Feather Cockscomb (Celosia plumosa)
Sow the seeds either in a hotbed or window in March or April, or else sow in the open ground in May. Good soil should be used in planting Celosias for, unlike Amaranths, they respond to feeding. Farmers’ Bulletin notes that transplanting into rich soil as the combs begin to form, makes the flower heads larger. The plants of the larger growing Feather Cockscombs should stand at least 2 feet apart. In some greenhouses, these are grown as pot plants, in which culture they should be grown in a warm house.
Four o’clock (Mirabilis Jalapa)
Gaillardia (Gaillardia Lorenziana)
Garden Balsam (Impatiens balsamina)
Godetia, Whitney (Godetia grandiflora)
Love-lies-bleeding (Amaranthus caudatus)
Nasturtium (Trop&olum majus)
Petunia (Petunia hybrida)
Rose Moss (Portulaca grandiflora)
Spiderflower (Cleome spinosa)
Sweet Alyssum (Alyssum maritimum)
Sweet-sultan (Centaurea moschata)