Annual Flowers: What to Know to Help Them Thrive
Follow these tips to achieve a bountiful, colorful garden full of annual flowers.
Annuals don’t like manure—even when it’s well aged.
Too much nitrogen results in plants with too many leaves, too many stems, and too few flowers. The only manure suitable for use on annuals is one that has dried for at least two years.
Should you pinch your plants?
Pinching young plants delays blooming but helps them become stockier and bushier. Annuals such as clarkia, sweet pea, cosmos, godetia, coleus, snapdragon, nicotiana, red salvia, and petunia benefit from pinching. Use your thumb and forefinger to nip out the growing tip of the main stem just above a leaf or pair of leaves.
Which to deadhead
Use shears or scissors to remove dead flowers from annuals that bloom in flushes, like coreopsis, petunias, California poppies, and marigolds.
Put annuals into pots at the end of summer
Species such as coleus, impatiens, browallia, geranium, floss flower, and wishbone flower will provide attractive blooms in your home for several months.
Want more gardening tips?
This A-Z guide covers everything from acid soil to zucchini, with hints and tips culled from leading horticulturists and accomplished home gardeners from all over the country. Learn more about the Reader’s Digest Quintessential Guide to Gardening and buy the book here.