As spring moves forward and the earth gets warmer we all start to crave our favorite bedding plants. Bedding plants are also referred to as Annuals. Annuals add a splash of color to any landscape. Their range of colors and varieties are endless and offer something for everyone. Whether it be Gerberas, Cosmos, Geraniums, Marigolds, Impatiens or Dahlias they all need a few key products to keep them beautiful all season long.
Care of Your New Annuals, Tropical Plants, and Hanging Baskets
Want your annuals to stay beautiful for the whole season? Read these few pointers to keep your annuals looking great all summer long.
One of the most important things to ensure the health of your bedding plants is to start out with the right potting soil. Our line of Fafard products will help create the perfect medium for planting any annual. We carry a complete potting mix that is recommended for a wide variety of bedding and potted plants grown indoors and out. It is fortified with a slow-release fertilizer that continues to feed plants for up to six months. Its main ingredients are Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss, Pine Bark, Perlite.
For your containers we carry an all-purpose container mix with Moisture Pro™ water holding crystals, to maintain mix moisture for longer, and an extended-release fertilizer to keep plants fed up to six months.
Once you have purchased the right potting soil, it’s time to get to planting. As you’re planting your annuals, it’s very important to read the plant care tags.
Make sure your bedding plants are planted in the correct sun exposure. A full sun annual requires at least 6-8 hours of direct sun daily, full sun to part shade require 6 hours of sunlight and shade to part sun require mostly shade with a little bit of sun. When choosing the right spot in the yard for your annuals, also keep in mind that some plants that require full sun may not like the afternoon sun. Annuals that have to take on the heat of the afternoon sun should be more drought and heat tolerant. Some examples are Lantana, Scaevola, Callibrachoa, and Angelonia.
CLICK HERE for Annual Plants For Sun
CLICK HERE for Annual Plants for Shade
CLICK HERE for Annual Plants for Part Sun
After you have planted all your bedding plants, it’s time to give them all a drink of water. Annuals are most susceptible to drying out the first few weeks after you put them in the ground. Keep an eye on your annuals, especially during the hot summer months. Once you’re done planting and watering your new annuals, it’s time to take a seat and watch them grow.
As your annuals continue to grow, they might start to look a little leggy. Deadheading and Pinching are two easy tasks that will keep your annuals looking their best. Deadheading is cutting back all the faded flowers which helps keep the annual from making seed and helps put more energy into producing blooms then seeds. Pinching your annuals creates a more compact look. Pinch off the top a couple of inches of new growth at a time, by doing this you encourage the plant to branch out and be bushier instead of becoming tall and lanky.
Fertilizing your bedding plants is very important for steady growth and blooms. If you purchased one of the Fafard potting mixes then you don’t have to worry about fertilizing because the soil already contains a slow release fertilizer.
However if you did not purchase a Fafard soil then using a slow release or water soluble fertilizer is key to the bedding plants success. In general all purpose fertilizers like Miracle Gro is perfect but just remember to read the directions on the packaging. If you are like me and hate to fertilize every two weeks, then try out a slow release fertilizer like Osmocote. We carry Osmocote Flower & Vegetable Plant Food which is excellent for veggie gardens, perennials and annuals. We also have Osmocote Outdoor & Indoor Plant Food which is great for container annuals and houseplants. Both Osmocotes feed up to four months.