5 Steps to Grow Flourishing Annual Containers
Growing annual containers can be a fun experience that adds color and vibrancy to your landscape. Here are a few helpful tips to get you started!
- Choose a Location
Will you be placing a round pot in a corner? Will your container be in sun or shade? These are just a couple of questions that will greatly affect your design and the list of plants from which to choose.
- Plan it Out
It can serve difficult to narrow down your options in a garden center full of varieties and colors. To save time, decide if you want your color scheme to be monotone, hot, pastel, white, ect.
- Care Requirements
Sun vs Shade
Some Sun Varieties of Blooming Annuals:
Petunia, Snapdragon, Marigold, Zinnia, Calibrachoa
Some Shade Varieties of Blooming Annuals:
Begonia, Lobelia, Impatiens, Pansies, Fuchsia
You can conduct initial research online to see what kinds of plants will thrive in your space. Plants at garden centers should have informational tags detailing each plant’s sun and watering requirements. You don’t want to choose plants with opposite needs for the same container.
Premium grade potting mix is the best soil for annual containers because it provides good water retention without getting soggy. Watering frequency depends on the size of your container, sun/wind conditions and weather. A large container in a shady area will require less water than a small container in full sun under the same weather conditions.
If you have a round pot in a corner, your design will look best with tall plants in the back of the container to hide the empty space with centerpiece plants in front. For containers you can view from all angles, choose a plant variety that is tall or bushier for the centerpiece and place the lower plants around it. If you choose to use trailing plants such as Vinca or Sweet Potato Vine, plant those on the outside so they can spill over the side of the container.
Don’t be afraid to plant your material close together. The plants’ informational tag will tell you how much space they need. It takes a balance to grow a container that has a full, lush look while still giving the plants enough room.
Blooming plants require food in order to sustain the flowers. Feed your plants once a week with a fertilizer high in phosphorous to keep them flourishing all summer. Keep your container looking its best by giving your plants a hefty, mid-summer pruning to ensure they don’t get too tall and scraggly and snap off wilting flowers throughout the season. The plants may look less appealing at first, but after a few days, they will be revived and rejuvenated.
Shop your local garden center for the best varieties that will thrive in your area. Don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun with it! Gardening is never an exact science but about the experience of trying it. Happy Gardening!