There’s nothing quite like the effect of a healthy annual; the delicate aroma, the soft elegant pedals, the abundance of blooms. The versatility and variety of annuals make them a favourite for accents in flower beds and containers, or hanging basket features. Keeping your annual vibrant and continuously blooming can be tricky, but with a few pro tips and a little extra care, you’ll reap the benefits all summer long.
Tip #1: Replant as soon as you bring your plants home. Transferring a plant while it’s young and still growing will allow it ample time to adjust to its new location and prevent any damage from becoming root bound. If you need to keep your plants in their flats for more than a day be sure to water frequently and keep them in a shady, sheltered spot.
Tip #2: Prepare the soil like a pro. Mixing in peat moss or compost will increase the organic matter in the soil, which will give your annuals the best chance at establishing their roots.
Tip #3: Consider where you place your plants. Most annuals prefer well drained soil, so whether you choose containers or flower beds, be sure the soil has the ability to drain adequately. Spacing out your young plants properly will prevent overcrowding and allow them to reach their full blooming potential.
Tip #4: Water well and feed frequently. Annuals tend to flourish with soil that is always on the moist side, keep in mind that during hotter days you will need to water your plants more often. Watering early in the morning will help prepare your annuals to handle the heat. Avoid watering from overhead as this can lead to issues with pests and diseases. Continual blooming requires a lot of energy from your annuals; feeding them every 3 weeks with a water soluble fertilizer will ensure your plants have all the nutrients they need to provide you with blooms all season long.
Tip #5: Don’t hesitate to groom your annuals regularly. Deadheading will focus your plants’ energy on growing new blooms, while cutting back a few inches will encourage new growth and result in a bushy full looking plant.