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Do you want to have an amazing landscape filled with vibrant flowers this season?
This article explains how to plant annual flowers so you have the confidence to purchase and grow plants that will bring you pleasure and beauty all season long.
If you missed the first article, Annual Flowers for Beginners- Selecting the Right Ones for Your Landscape, click here.
Preparing Flower Beds for Planting
If you want an amazing flower display in your garden beds, one of the tricks of the trade is to have great soil.
If your soil is hard and compacted, it will definitely pay-off to add “soil amendments.”
All are available in bags at your local garden center or online.
Over time, the amendments will loosen and enrich your soil.
The more generously you add soil amendments, the better the result.
This is truly one of the keys to having an amazing flower display.
It may require some up-front work, but it will pay dividends for years to come.
How to Plant Annual Flowers in Containers
They can brighten a deck, patio, front porch or any corner that needs a lift.
When selecting a container, be sure that it has holes in the bottom so that excess water will drain and not cause plants to become waterlogged.
I personally prefer plastic containers as they are lighter, making them much easier to move and handle.
This is becoming more of an issue the older I get!
One of the keys to growing annuals successfully in a container or hanging basket is to use a soil mix that is specifically designed for containers.
It is available at your local garden center or online.
I don’t recommend using real soil from the ground as it can become extremely hard and compacted.
This will prevent the flowers from developing proper root growth and consequently will not grow and bloom to your expectations.
How to Plant Annual Flowers
Regardless of planting in the ground or in a container, the process is the same.
Once the soil is loosened, dig a hole that is about the same depth as the pot in which the plant is currently growing.
Then, loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole.
This will make it easy for the roots to spread and grow.
Before planting, be sure that all your plants are well-watered and not dry.
Then, remove the plant from the container.
I do this by gently squeezing the pot to help release the roots so it easily slides out of the container.
Most plants will have a strong root system that has developed and grown into the shape of the pot.
An important tip is to remove a small part of the roots at the bottom of the pot.
This will break the circular growth pattern from the pot.
This will force the roots to grow out into their new environment.
You can’t hurt the plant, this is actually good for their development.
Then simply place the plant in the soil and fill it with soil. Gently firm the soil so that the plant is securely in place.
Watering and Fertilizing
The final step is to water the plants well. I use the shower setting on the hose nozzle or my watering wand to provide a gentle, but thorough watering.
I often will come back in an hour or two and water again, just to make sure that the soil is thoroughly moist.
If rain isn’t in the forecast, the plants will need to be watered daily until they are established.
This is especially true for containers and hanging baskets as they will dry out much quicker than flowers planted in the ground.
I also like to sprinkle a slow release fertilizer on top of the soil around the flowers.
Most slow-release fertilizers will provide 3 months of nutrients.
In addition, once every 7-14 days I will use a fertilizer that I can mix in my watering can (this is called a water-soluble fertilizer) to give my flowers a little extra boost.
Follow the application instructions and water your flowers regularly and you will see them develop into a lush, vibrant display your neighbors will marvel at!
If you want to learn how to plant seeds in your garden, click here!