May 19 2018
Author: John Figmic, Account Manager
Simply put, an annual is a plant that blooms all summer long. Based on that information alone, you might be able to see why there are benefits to incorporating these plants into your garden. Some gardeners believe that annuals are finicky plants and require a lot of maintenance. While this might be true in some cases, generally, with proper soil preparation and regular fertilization we find these flowers easy to care for and integrate into your existing garden.
Need to be convinced? Here are a few reasons you might consider adding them this year.
- They tend to be more colorful. Annual plants tend to have vivid hues that actually last longer than perennials. There’s science behind this – they need potent colors to attract as many pollinators as possible, to reproduce before the season ends.
- Annuals can lead the eye, and therefore the person, wherever you want them to go. Be it to your front door, a special spot in your garden or toward a sign advertising your business, annuals have that special “pop” that attracts a person’s attention and pulls them toward the display
- Pots of annual flowers offer “mobile” color that can be placed where you want it. Annuals in pots can also be easily changed as the seasons change.
- Annuals “fill in” a starter garden. Perennials take time to settle after planting. Annuals can fill in the gaps with color and foliage since they bloom fairly quickly.
- These flowers have a summer season. Many perennials such as daffodils are beautiful in the spring, but by summer their season is over. This is when annual plants take over, adding color and filling in your garden nicely for the remainder of the season.
- Unlike perennials there is no dividing or mulching necessary! Many types of perennials require the grower to separate roots and take care with pruning. You don’t have to worry about this with annuals – so you can spend more time simply enjoying your garden, instead of working in it!
The best news of all? Now is a terrific time to plant annuals. We find they do best when planted in the late months of spring or early summer after danger of frost has passed. In our area the Memorial Day holiday is a good guide for frost free growing. Annuals tend to be “cold tender” which means they could perish if exposed to a frost. Ask your local garden supply (or trusted landscape partner) which annuals are in season, or about to be. They can provide guidance on which plants are prime for planting in May or June.
Annual flowers are a great way to fill in space in any garden, as long as you’re allowing enough space so that they’re not competing for soil or nutrients. We also love them in a window box, or in a container garden. We’ve seen a lot of beautiful home entrances with annuals surrounding porch steps, near mailbox stands, etc. Be sure to check with your landscaper or favorite planting reference to understand different sun/shade preferences, soil situations, and color considerations.
If you need any help making decisions about the optimal use of annuals in your garden or yard, please reach out to us. We are passionate about these wonderful plants and would love to give you advice on how to add them to your home!