According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Maryland lies in the hardiness zones five to seven. The climate is generally moderate, ranging from mild to hot in the summer. The winters are moderate in the east and south, and extremely cold in the west and mountainous regions. The best annuals for Maryland are the ones that grow optimally in these hardiness zones. These include the state flower black-eyed Susan, zinnias, marigolds, calendulas and snapdragons. Does this Spark an idea?
Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia) is the state flower of Maryland and is among the group of flowers that are most easy to grow. Black-eyed Susan is also known as coneflower and rudbeckia, and grows best in USDA zones 3 to 10. The plants reach a mature height of 18 inches to 7 feet, depending on the variety. The flowers bloom from the middle of summer and well into autumn in shades of golden yellow with dark centers. The plants are resistant to drought and heat once well established, and grow optimally in full sun and well-drained soil.
Zinnias (Zinnia elegans) are a native of Mexico, and the newer varieties are especially easy to grow. The flowers are resistant to both heat and diseases, and bloom in a variety of shapes resembling cactus dahlias and pompom mums. The size of the multicolored flowers ranges from 1 inch to the giant 6 inches in diameter. The plants reach a mature height of 6 to 36 inches depending on the variety used. The flowers grow best in full sun and a well-drained site. Zinnias are often used as bedding plants. Pruning the flowers regularly increases their bushiness and increases blooms. The flowers bloom from spring to the first frost in fall.
Snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus) are tall, cold-hardy annuals that well resist the first and second light frost of fall. The flowers have a long bloom time and bloom best in the cooler air of spring and early fall. Snapdragons bloom in a wide variety of colors ranging from purple, pink, red, rose, crimson, white, golden, lemon, bronze and purple-white. The flowers grow on tall spikes of 8 to 36 inches. The flowers grow best in full sun in a well-drained, preferably sandy loam. Apply a water-soluble plant food to the flowering plants. Prune well after the summer to keep plants blooming into fall.