An annual or seasonal flower is a flower that will complete its life cycle in one blooming season. They are popular as they grow and bloom quickly making your garden bright, colourful and beautiful during summer and in autumn.
Plant them en masse for impact; they can be used to highlight the colours of other shrubberies, for lining paths directing visitors through the garden. In containers, flowering annuals can be mixed in colour and shade to show variety and personality.
Annuals can also be used as a quick fix to brighten up your garden before hosting a family event or BBQ. They bloom quickly after planting and last for many months. They also have the bonus benefit of acting as a living mulch, keeping weeds down and moisture trapped in the soil.
Popular types of annuals include Petunias, Salvias, Cyclamens and Pansies. If you are a beginner you may want to start with Impatiens.
Before you start, take a few days to watch the sun’s movement across your garden throughout the day, think about each area you want to plant in and how much sun it receives.
You should also consider spacing between each new plant and how many you will need to fill a space. This information will help you choose which annuals will suit which area in your garden best!
If possible, try to plant on a cloudy day or around sunset and allow them time to settle before dealing with the next day’s heat.
Many annuals require watering every day, especially if they are in the sun. Don’t wait for signs of wilting before you water. Look for symptoms such as loss of gloss on leaves or feel the soil. Most annuals like the soil slightly moist 5-10cm down. When watering, try to water the soil rather than the plant’s leaves and blooms if possible.
Fertilize your annuals when planting them in the ground. It is also a good idea to cut them back if they get too tall and remove any ‘deadheads’. You can do this by pinching or cutting off any flowers, they may need more recovery time, but they should grow back bushier with more blooms!
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