Annual plants may live for only one season, but what a difference they can make in a garden. Annuals are excellent for adding colour and performance.
A true annual is a plant that completes its life cycle in one year. This means it goes from seed to seed and then dies off, during the course of one growing season.
Deadheading is removing spent flowers before the seed matures and doing this produces more flowers and therefore more potential seed. Some tender perennials are grown as annuals in colder climates. For a perennial to be worth growing as an annual, it must flower profusely in its first year of growth.
Pansies and alyssum are both tender perennials. Some plants are considered to be hardy annuals.
This means that they are able to withstand a little frost without being killed off and will continue to bloom and set seed into the next year, but they will eventually die.
Annuals can also be divided into cool season plants and warm season plants. Pansies will fade as the summer heats up. Zinnias won’t even get moving until the nights stay warm.
Annual flowers give you the opportunity to have a totally different garden every year. They grow quickly and produce a wonderful display for very little cost.
If you don’t like the display you have this year you can change your planting the following year!
Perennials and annuals are different types of plants.
Perennials only have to be planted once and take two or more years to reach maturity.
Perennials are easy to grow and can live for many years.
Annuals go through their entire life cycle in a year.
Sometimes the seeds fall off and the plant returns the following year.
But usually annuals have to be replanted every spring.
They are not as easy to grow as perennials and should be started indoors from seed and transported into the garden.
Seedling compost or peat pellets
Medium plant containers
Plant the seed in a small container.
Make sure there is a hole in the bottom for water drainage.
Keep the plant in an area that receives direct sunlight.
Transplant the plant into a larger pot when the plant stem reaches 3 to 4 inches.
Do not remove the plant from the soil or peat pellet.
Place the plant in the new pot and add the soil needed around it, making sure to cover the root area completely.
Place the plants outside in the sun for three to six hours a day when they get to 9 inches tall and bring them back in at dusk. If growing them in a greenhouse you can open the doors and vents during the day and close them in the evening. You must do this for four days to get the plant used to being outside.
Transplant into your garden after four days. Make sure you dig the hole deep enough for the plant and its original soil.
Always follow the instructions on the seed packet when it comes to spacing and caring for the plant. Make sure the plant receives ample direct sunlight and is not over-shaded by any other plant.
Be careful not to over water. It can damage the root system and kill the plant. You should only have to water the plant, at the most, twice a week.