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Caring for Annuals


Annuals are among the easiest of flowers, but they'll be healthier and produce more color if you keep them in tip-top condition.


Good soil is a necessity. Even if you've already planted them, it's not too late. Spread the bed with a layer of Garden Soil and work it into the top 2 or 3- inches of soil around the annuals. If you are planting in a container, then you should plant with Potting Soil. Today’s soils have everything you need. Many contain fertilizer also for long lasting blooms.


All plants are easier to care for if you have easy access to them. Lay a flagstone or concrete paver here and there in a large flower border to help you reach them easily.







Step 1: Water annuals everyday

Step 1: How to water annuals

Watering annuals is critical. Many annuals need water every day, especially if they are located in the sun. Don't wait for them to wilt before you water. Instead, look for signs such as loss of gloss on leaves -- or simply stick your finger into the soil. Most annuals like soil slightly and evenly moist 2 or 3-inches down. When you water, if possible, water the soil, not the plants. Many annuals, especially petunias, object to wet leaves and petals. Set the hose on the ground on a drizzle or use soaker hoses.


Step 2: Apply weed preventer and mulch

Apply a weed preventer and then mulch the area.  Mulch suppresses weeds, conserves moisture and prevents many soil-borne diseases. After planting, mulch your annuals with 1 to 3-inches of aged wood chips (fresh mulch can stunt plant growth), grass clippings, pine needles, bark or other organic mulch. Avoid gravel or stone, which tends to create conditions that are too hot and dry for most annuals.


Step 3: Add fertilizer

Since annuals grow rapidly, they need plenty of fuel. Work a slow-release fertilizer into the soil at planting time. Or, as an alternative, use a liquid fertilizer, applying annuals in a bed every 7-14 days.


Step 4: Prune plants to encourage new blooms

Encourage new blooms by dead heading, which is pinching, snapping, or cutting off dead blooms.  Annuals such as petunias, geraniums, salvia and marigolds, you will need to pinch back the stem to the base to prevent the plant from going into seed and to encourage new continuous blooms.  Dead heading is not necessary on some plants such as impatiens, flowering vinca, lobelia and begonias.