Popular with new and more experienced gardeners alike, annuals
are some of the most beautiful, lively, and interesting of all
flowers. The massive diversity of annuals, their wide range of
colors and styles, and their ease of care make annuals an
in-demand choice for gardens everywhere.
Do you know what makes and annual plant truly an annual? For
an annual to really be an annual, the plant must finish its
entire life phase in one planting season. The seeds germinate,
the flowers bloom for the spring and summer months, the plant
lays its seed and the plant then dies, all in one planting
There are some plants that are treated as annuals
but are not truly annuals. Some sensitive perennial plants are
used as annuals and replanted each year, especially in colder
northern regions. While these plants could regenerate in warmer
planting zones, in colder zone they are canít re-germinate and
are planted as annuals instead.
Conversely, some annuals
are used as perennials. Some varieties of annuals drop such a
large amount of seed in the fall that the seeds are able to
germinate and bloom the next year. The plants are not
perennials, but their seeds simply germinated and took root, and
proceeded to bloom the following year. Some of the more common
perennial impersonators include snapdragons and petunias.
There are several ways in which you can start annuals in your
garden, either by planting them as seed, buying seedlings (or
smaller plants), or buying more established plants. Many annuals
can be bought as cell packs, which are a sort of multi-pack.
Whenever buy plants to transplant, make sure that you plant them
as soon as possible. If you canít plant them immediately, then
make sure to keep the plants in a shaded area and water them
regularly. Remember to also water the planting area so that you
can moisten the soil well before you put your new annuals in the
When using annuals in your garden it is important
not to plant them too early in the season. The soil should be
warm and the air temperatures should be stable before planting
any annuals. To get the annual plant out of its packaging, lift
the seedlings gently out of their packs by pushing on the bottom
of the container. Try to make sure that the plant and its soil
comes out intact.
If the roots of the plant are
compressed, loosen them by tenderly breaking up the root ball or
cut the sides using a small knife. Doing this will promote
deeper rooting and longer plant life after the plants have been
put into the ground.
Make sure that you plant your
annuals in the ground at the same depth in which they came in
the packs. After placing the plants in the ground, gently pack
the soil down around the annual and water the area thoroughly.
You should then apply a good fertilizer that is phosphorus-rich.
Apply the fertilizer at a strength of two tablespoons of
fertilizer per gallon of water.
Following these steps will help get your annual garden off to
an excellent start. In no time you will have a garden filled
with vibrant annual flowers.
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