Summer is in full bloom in southeastern Wisconsin, and that means many of us are enjoying the colorful beauty that annual flowers bring to our backyards. Properly caring for your annual flowers will keep them blooming in full color all summer long. A little bit of TLC will go a long way this summer.
Follow these simple guidelines to properly care for your annual flowers.
Watering Annual Flowers
Plantings in beds:
If the weather is hot, sunny, or windy, water the plants once a day, twice a day is better. The best time to water is early morning, before 9:00 a.m.; if watering in the evening, it is best to water after 6:00 p.m., when the sun is not so hot. Use a light spray or rain setting on your watering sprayer; soaker hoses also work well. Do this for a week or until the leaves do not wilt anymore, thereafter, water thoroughly to the depth of 6 to 8 inches, once a week in cool weather or every 3 to 4 days during the hot summer months. Wilting will weaken your plants and should not be allowed to happen. A mulch of peat moss, bark mulch or cocoa mulch is excellent to conserve moisture and keep down weeds.
Note: Deep, infrequent watering is better than frequent, light watering. It is possible to over water annuals, so please follow these guidelines accordingly.
Plantings in pots:
If the weather is hot, sunny, or windy, water the plants once a day, twice a day is better. The best time to water is early morning, before 9:00 a.m.; if watering in the evening, it is best to water after 6:00 p.m. when the sun is not so hot. Use a light spray or rain setting on your watering sprayer or water with a watering can at the base of the plants. If the weather is cool you may only have to water every 3 or 4 days. Wilting will weaken your plants and should not be allowed to happen. Do NOT let soil in pot dry out completely.
Fertilizing Annual Flowers
You should fertilize your planting with an all-purpose fertilizer like Miracle Grow. Be sure to follow label instructions on how to apply, to avoid damage to plants.
Deadheading Annual Flowers
Most plants’ flowers fall cleanly, requiring no maintenance. Others need “deadheading” or removing faded blooms to improve appearance and encourage more blooming. A few annuals, such as petunias, snapdragons, and pansies, may be pinched back after the first flush of bloom to keep them compact and free-flowering. New Hybrids are reducing this maintenance requirement.
Just a few minutes a day of proper care will keep your annual flowers beautiful and blooming all summer long.