Planting Tips for Annuals

All About Annuals

An annual is a plant that completes its life cycle in one growing season. Annuals have many uses. They provide colour and interest in gardens or in containers for porch, patio or balcony. They fill in open spaces after spring bulbs have bloomed or between perennials. Annuals provide a new home with an ‘instant’ garden while slow-growing foundation plantings, such as evergreens are maturing. Some annuals can be used indoors as cut flowers and most annuals will bloom all summer long.

Selecting Plants

Choose plants that are dark green, vigorous looking and short in height. Ensure that all plants that you select for a particular garden area require the same light conditions. Choose plants with a variety of heights and plant your bed with the tallest plants at the back and shorter plants at the front to ensure the best display.


If you buy bedding plants but cannot plant them the same day, water the packs thoroughly and put them in the shade to prevent excessive wilting. Prepare flower beds by spading deeply. Build up soil with the addition of peat moss, composted manure or top soil.

How to Plant

Evenings or cloudy days are the best times to plant. Refer to the information tag that accompanies the flowers to determine the spacing requirements for your plants. Soak the plants before removing them from their containers. Keep as much soil around the roots as possible and plant the root ball below the soil line. Remove all buds and blooms after planting to help the plants establish themselves. We recommend the use of Miracle Gro Fertilizer when you do your transplanting.


Water plants thoroughly when first planted. Thereafter, water whenever the soil is dry. Water early in the day with a soaking technique at ground level. Don’t rely on rainfall to keep plants adequately watered.

After Planting Care

To promote bushy, vigorous growth and continuous blooming, pinch out the central bud of annuals such as tall snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds. The tops of plants that ten to vine, such as petunias should be pinched back to 3 or 4 inches when they begin to stretch. Flowers should be removed after blooming to prevent seed formation and promote future blooming. Fertilize every two weeks. We recommend the use of Miracle Gro Fertilizer.