As soon as the danger of frost has passed in your area, you can begin to plant warm-season bedding plants. In south Louisiana this generally begins in late March or early April, and in north Louisiana around April or early May.
A group of plants we use as summer bedding plants are actually tender perennials, not true annuals. These plants have more stamina than true annuals and this is important given our very long summer growing season, from April/May to October. These plants have the ability to look good in October from a spring or early summer planting and are highly recommended for Louisiana gardens. On occasion, these plants may survive a mild winter and provide a second summer of color.
Warm-season bedding plants for sun to part-sun include: abelmoschus, ageratum, alternanthera*, amaranthus, balsam, blue daze*, celosia, cleome, coleus (sun-tolerant types), coreopsis, cosmos, Dahlberg daisy, dusty miller*, gaillardia, gomphrena, iresine*, lantana*, lisianthus, marigold, melampodium, narrow-leaf zinnia, ornamental pepper*, periwinkle*, pentas*, portulaca, purslane*, rudbeckia, ruellia*, salvia*, scaevola*, sunflower, tithonia, torenia, perennial verbena, zinnia.
Warm-season bedding plants for part-shade to shade: balsam, begonia*, browallia, caladium (perennial tuber), cleome, coleus*, impatiens*, pentas*, salvia*, torenia.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture