How to Care for Annual Flower Containers

Here are some tips straight from our annual flower professionals! Keep your annual flowers blooming all summer long with a few simple steps. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us anytime! We are always happy to help.

The 4 Keys To Success


Watering

The easiest and hardest thing to do. Annuals should never be allowed to dry out completely, yet they do not like sitting in soggy soil either. Your annual flower containers have been planted in a premium-grade potting mix that provides good moisture retention while still remaining porous. How often you need to water your containers depends on many factors, including container size, sun/wind exposure, and weather conditions. A small pot in full sun may need water 2-3 times per day when the weather is really hot, while a medium or larger pot on a shady porch may only require water every 2-3 days during the same weather. You really have to be an observer and also check the soil with your fingers. Generally speaking, most pots will need water at least once a day.

Feeding

We ask a lot of our annuals. We want them to bloom all summer long, and that takes a lot of energy. Feeding them is essential in order to help your plants perform. Here at Bath Garden Center, we are firm believers in organic fertilizers. But when it comes to annuals, organic options don’t always provide the quick, easy-to-absorb nutrients annuals need. They need a lot of nitrogen and phosphorus in a form that the plant can absorb quickly. We suggest Fertilome Blooming & Rooting, a water-soluble food that will give your plants exactly what they need. We recommend fertilizing your flowers with a regular dose at least twice per week. A diluted, 1/3 strength feeding every time you water can be very beneficial!


Deadheading

This is very important if you want to encourage additional blooms in your plants. The natural lifecycle of a plant starts with growth, then when a flower blooms, it goes to seed. Generally, after a plant has gone to seed, it has completed its task of reproduction and will coast for the rest of the season until it dies off for the winter. This more or less applies to all plants. If you want your herbs to keep producing, you should not let them go to seed by pinching off any flowers that bloom. If you want your perennial plants to keep producing flowers, you should trim off any flowers once they begin to fade. And with your annuals, if you want them to keep producing beautiful flowers, you need to pinch off spent blooms. This will encourage your plants to keep producing more flowers! When you deadhead your annual flowers, be sure to pinch or snip off the bud at the stem below or at the base of the bloom. Don't just pull off the old wilted leaves. The whole flowering part of the plant needs to go! Learn more about deadheading in our video.

Pruning

Not to be confused with deadheading! You know the scenario: Your pots have been looking great and suddenly, mid-summer they begin to look tired, leggy, and don’t flower much. This is the time to be brave, grab some scissors or pruners, and give those plants a serious haircut. Don’t be timid! If a stem is 15 inches long, cut it back to about 7 inches. In other words, cut them back by half. Your pots will look a little ugly for a few days, but feed them, wait, and they will soon be revived and rejuvenated. If you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with pruning, please visit us and we will show you how to cut back your plants with confidence!

Thank you for trusting Bath Garden Center in Fort Collins to help beautify your home this summer, and thank you for supporting your local, family-owned nursery! We love to color your world with flowers and give you all the tools and resources you need to grow big, beautiful plants of all kinds!

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