What Are Mounding Annuals? Which Plants to Grow?

Mounding annuals are bush plants that people value for their width rather than their height. They’re an excellent fit for hanging baskets, window boxes, and pot containers, as they’ll droop down the sides, offering a showy cascade of leaves and flowers.

Some people also call mounding annuals “trailing annuals.” There’s no difference between these two names, as both refer to flowers with a short height and long stems with downward growth.

Examples of Mounding Annuals

What Are Mounding Annuals?

If you’re ready to add character and color around your home with mounding annuals, below are some examples of plants you can grow. 

Keep in mind that many people enjoy mixing and matching different mounding annuals in the same container as long as the plants share similar growing preferences. 

Million Bells

What Are Mounding Annuals?

Million bells can be grown in a hanging basket or in your flower beds. They have medium-sized bell-shaped flowers with a long bloom period. From spring until the first frost, you can enjoy an array of colorful flowers, including pink, orange, yellow, red, purple, and white.


Lobelias are a favorite flower to plant around rocks near ponds and in containers. These partial-shade-loving plants boast an array of colors, with the most popular being shades of blue.


What Are Mounding Annuals?

Petunias are arguably one of the most classic types of mounding annuals. They have large, fragrant flowers that bloom during the summer. You can choose from several colors, such as yellow, pink, purple, white, and red.


Pansies are mounding annuals that live in cool climates. They can thrive under partial shade or full sun. Gardeners value pansies for their two-tone petal colors, ranging from purple to orange, red, white, and yellow.


Begonia flowers are tiny, but they grow in clusters, making it almost impossible to see their leaves when they hang down from baskets and containers. Bees and butterflies love begonias, and you’ll often see them pollinating their yellow, white, red, and pink flowers.


Since impatiens require partial shade, they’re an excellent mounding annual for rockeries and retaining walls. These plants need plenty of water, and your reward for caring for them will be red, pink, purple, and white flowers during the spring and summer.

Blue Star Creepers

Blue star creepers double as excellent mounding annuals and as ground cover plants. They have beautiful blue-colored flowers in the spring and summer. But even when their flowers aren’t in bloom, you’ll get to enjoy their deep green leaves emerging from your containers.

How Do Mounding Annuals Grow?

Unlike regular annual flowers, which sit atop an upright-facing stem emerging from the soil, mounding annuals root themselves at nodes along their stem. 

So, these annuals grow in a sprawling fashion, making them excellent ground cover when they grow in the soil. But since mounding annuals don’t defy gravity, people enjoy putting them in hanging baskets and other areas where their stems can drape.

Will My Mounding Annuals Return Each Year?

No, your mounding annuals won’t return each year. The word “annual” means that these plants only last for one season. 

That said, some annuals can be perennials (growing back each year) if you live in a warm enough climate. There are also several species of mounding perennials, should you live in the correct USDA zone and be interested in species you don’t have to plant each year.

Final Thoughts

Mounding annuals are fun plants for gardeners because you can get creative mixing and matching these plants in hanging baskets and using them to adorn rockeries.

Alternatively, if you don’t have an eye for art, you can purchase pre-prepared  hanging baskets from your local garden center. In either case, you can expect them to draw the attention of anyone who visits your home.