Annual Care 101

Everyone is a gardener when it comes to annuals!

Annual plants only stick around with us for one year but with a little TLC, they can have one heck of a year! Annuals are rewarding, fun, and allow you to be as creative as you like. Anyone can plant annuals even with minimal gardening experience.

Half the fun is just picking out your flowers. This time of year the greenhouse is overflowing with annuals in different shapes, colors, and sizes for both the shade and sun. You can match your colors to your home decor or mix and match. The sky’s the limit!

Annuals are easy but you do have to show them a little love. Follow these easy steps for success:

  • Plant in well-draining soil. Compaction and standing water are the kiss of death for any plant. Use our Van Wilgen’s Professional Potting Mix when potting up your outdoor containers, and use our Van Wilgen’s Professional Planting Mix when planting annuals in the ground. You’ll want to loosen up the soil to allow water to flow through.
  • Water plants daily. Unless the soil already feels pretty damp, or it’s recently rained, your annuals like to get a drink of water. Keep in mind that the warmer temperatures will help dry out the soil, so your outdoor annuals will likely need to be watered more frequently than plants kept indoors.
  • Fertilize. Start all containers out with Van Wilgen’s Slow Release Fertilizer. Follow up every two weeks with Bloom Booster. Annuals can really handle it. Fertilize the heck out of them. We only get to enjoy them for one year so push them hard!
  • Dead Head. Yes, I know that some annuals like petunias claim to be self-shedding. This is somewhat true but the reality is, they get messy looking if you don’t do a little cleanup. Don’t be afraid to finger-pinch off the dead flowers, or you can use snippers if the stalk is a little woodier.
  • Hair Cut. Are your annuals getting leggy? Give them a good haircut to restore their bounce. You may have to be a little patient for the bloom to return, but in the long run, you will have a healthier, more productive annual.

As always, if you run into trouble or need a little advice, just pay us a visit or give us a call. We’re here to help!