Planting annual flowers in pots or beds in your garden marks the onset of a year-long show of lush leaves and flamboyant flowers. Annuals bloom eye-catching flowers and sprout colorful foliage from the planting season until the last frost hits. However, understanding when to plant annual flowers allows gardeners to start off the season on the right foot. Moreover, knowing what and how to grow annuals is indispensable to make your gardening success.
Growing Annual Flowers from Seedlings
The key to growing annuals from seedlings boils down to getting the season right. Some annual flowers need a touch of spring or summer to blossom while most of them thrive excellently in colder months of winter and fall. Usually, most garden stores avail season-appropriate annual flowers just in time for planting.
A cloudy or wet day is the perfect time to plant your annuals seedlings. This way, you’ll protect newly planted seedlings from the sun as they are getting accustomed to their new settings. If you don’t seem to strike a cloudy day, the next best option is to plant your annuals in the evening, giving them enough time to get used to their new digs. As a last resort, you can plant your annual flowers while providing some sort of temporary shading.
If you are planting your annuals in in-ground beds, set up the spacing according to the size of the mature plant. More importantly, you need to give your annuals enough wiggle room to rise and spread. Remember the root balls should be moist enough before the seedlings are transplanted. Once you have planted them, you need to water thoroughly and feed them appropriately.
Growing Annuals from Seeds
Growing annual flowers from the seeds is not as complicated as most people think. Consider the following factors to make the whole process easy.
Unique Germination Requirements
While most seeds can germinate in darkness, some call for a little light. Others like morning glory or sweet pea have tough seed coats; make sure to nick or soak them before you plant. Though most seeds take 3-7 days to germinate, others take up to 3 weeks. Prepare your garden appropriately.
The speed of Growth of the Seedlings
You need to understand how fast the seedlings will grow so that you can have adequate time before transplanting. Planting fast-growth seeds directly in the garden can do the trick.
How Cold-Hardy are your Annuals?
You can plant seeds of hardy annual flowers directly in the garden as soon as possible in spring. For half-hardy annual flowers, you might want to start them off indoors for 6-8 weeks before transplanting. You might have to wait until last signs of the frost have disappeared before planting tender annuals.