Flowers are just one of the many joys of spring. Having beautiful, vibrant colors decorating your patio after a long and cold winter is something we all enjoy! While everyone's flowers always start the season looking beautiful, if they aren't taken care of appropriately, they will quickly come to look disheveled and scraggly. So, here are some tips, advice and suggestions on how to care for your plants, as well as which plants are best suited for your space.
Best Flowers For Sun
Whether you have hanging flowers baskets, flower pots on your patio, or window gardening boxes you want to fill with flowers, here are some ideas for annual varieties that will thrive in full sun!
With all the different varieties out there, geraniums are a very versatile and beautiful flower. Geraniums are one of the best flowers for window gardening too, as they love the hot sun and bring bright color to any window box.
With adorable little blooms coming in a wide range of colors, these flowers make a great addition to your porch pots. They bloom repeatedly, and if they are planted at the edges of your pots, they will grow in a nice little mound that gently spills over the sides of the container.
This variety of annual flower is hard to beat. They come in more colors that you can think of, with different varieties that will grow either in a mounding habit or that will spill over your containers creating a lovely waterfall of brightly colored blooms.
This classic may be one of the most common annual flowers to see in hanging baskets, porch pots, and window gardening boxes. They come in solid colors, stripes, speckles, and can range anywhere from neon colors to pastels.
These flowers are great for filling any empty space, and will cascade over the sides of your flower pots creating a lovely display of color. They typically rebloom quickly and have a vigorous growth habit.
Best Flowers For Shade
Not all of us are blessed with patios that receive enough sun for many annuals to thrive. With that being said, here are some lovely options for porches, patios, entry-ways and window boxes that may receive a little less sun and a little more shade.
Begonias produce some of the most lovely, frilly flowers, and come in many colors. They are easy to care for, don't require dead-heading (pinching off old, spent blooms to encourage continued blooming), and make for lovely hanging baskets!
These plants are more well-known for their extraordinary foliage than they are for their flowers. They come in some of the most breath-taking color combinations and patterns. You won't be able to resist adding some of these plants to your annual flower pots!
New Guinea Impatiens
Impatiens are very popular for their ability to grow in the shade, as well as for their florescent blooms that brighten any area. They are great flowers for window gardening if you have any east-facing windows, and grow well on any shaded patios.
These flowers are often seen in beautiful cascades of blue, white or purple, spilling over flower pots and hanging baskets. Their delicate flowers are pleasing to the eye and provide a lovely, cool contrast and varying texture to your annual flower arrangements.
Fuchsia can often be seen in hanging flower baskets and are highly sought after. Their exquisite dangling blooms are quite unique, and often come in different beautiful color combinations of light pink, dark pink, purple and more!
How Often to Water Summer Flowers
Generally, the answer to this is A LOT. If your flowers are sitting in the direct sun for 6-8 hours per day while temperatures soar into the 90's, your annual flower baskets and pots will need to be watered daily, if not twice per day. Your annual flowers that sit in the shade will not need as much water, as they will not dry out as quickly, but they will still need watering a couple times a week. Check the soil by sticking your finger into it, and if the top inch of soil is dry to the touch, it's time to water!
If your plants still appear to be droopy and wilted even after watering, your plants are likely just conserving their energy in the heat of the day. While overwatering is not usually an issue with full-sun annuals, if you water too much, this can just stress the plant even more. If you have already watered for the day, wait until the evening or the following morning when temperatures have cooled off a bit. If your plant hasn't perked back up by then, try giving it a little extra water and that should do the trick!
How Often to Fertilize
Fertilizing is very important if you want your plants to last all season. With as much as annual flowers need to be watered, many of the nutrients in the soil get washed out, and any nutrients that are still left in the soil get used up by the flowers rather quickly. Depending on the type of fertilizer you get (whether it is granular, slow-release, liquid, etc.), you may need to fertilize once every two weeks. Getting a fertilizer specifically for blooming plants will be the most effective. All-purpose fertilizers often do not have the appropriate ratio of nutrients that annual flowers need, and therefore will not benefit your plants as much as a blooming-specific fertilizer will. Always be sure to read the instructions for the fertilizer that you buy, since not all are the same and many have different application requirements!
Can I Mix in Flowers with Other Plants?
Yes!! And it can be so much fun, too. Try adding herbs to your annual flower baskets. Mint, basil and many other herbs are great fillers for any empty space and provide some variation in foliage. Not to mention, they give off an aroma that mixes wonderfully with the other floral notes. You can also mix different kinds of ornamental grasses. Spikes are often seen at the center of flower pots as they add some variation in height. Sweet potato vines are also great in many flower pots, bringing a touch of bring green or deep burgundy, and trailing over the sides with their vining tendency. You can even incorporate certain houseplants into your porch pots! Banana trees, dracaenas, and succulents are just a few options for plants that can be incorporated into your annual arrangements. The biggest thing to keep in mind when mixing different plants is to make sure to only combine varieties that have similar water and sunlight needs! So, do your research, and have some fun with it! And if you have any questions, feel free to give us a call (970-484-5022) or submit a contact form anytime!