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Planting Annuals in Pots and Hanging Baskets

Planting Annuals in Pots and Hanging Baskets

Planting Annuals in Pots and Hanging Baskets

It’s that time of the year again when everyone is starting to plan which annuals they want in their yard and beginning to get their plants organized. But before you get to planting your annuals this year, you might want to brush up on some of the best tips and practices to keep them happy and healthy. So whether you’re a lifelong green thumb or a beginner looking to beautify their yard, our experts at Blomidon have compiled everything you need to know about planting annuals in pots and hanging baskets so you can choose the right ones for your space, plant them properly, and help them thrive this season.

Wait until the Last Frost

Once you’ve decided on which annuals are best for you this season, the most important thing you need to know is that you can’t put anything outside until the last frost in your area. Accidentally leaving your plants outside during a frost will have adverse effects, cause undue stress, and can shorten or even end their life cycle. You may plant your annuals in their pots or hanging planters before the season’s last frost, but you must bring them inside each night when it begins to get chilly.

The last frost of the season will be different for everybody, depending on where you live, but the final frost has to do with the cycle of the full moon. The coldest nights are when there is a full moon, so that’s why waiting until after the late full moon in May (sometimes an early full moon in June) is the best option for avoiding frost damage to your new annuals.

Must-Have Products for Annuals

So you’ve chosen your plants and waited until the frost has subsided. Now it’s time to grab some must-have products to keep your annuals thriving all season. The first product our experts recommend getting is good quality potting soil, such as our all-purpose potting soil available in-store or online. Remember, you do not want to use earth or topsoil for your pots or hanging planters. The soil you use needs to be high quality and lightweight so your plants can receive their nutrients properly.

Next, one of our favourite things to use at Blomidon to keep our planter displays moist and beautiful is Spongelei Water Crystals. These are tiny polymers that you mix into your soil before planting your annuals. Then, when you water the plants, the Spongelei swells up to the size of an ice cube and resembles a jelly-like substance. It’s holding some of the water, so when the soil dries out, the soil can absorb the moisture from the crystals to keep it quenched. Using Spongelei means you can cut back your watering by half and is perfect for those who want an easier way to keep their plants hydrated. However, you must mix it with the soil extremely well.

Finally, the last must-have product is a slow-release fertilizer. At Blomidon, we like to use triple 14 or triple 20, and, once again, it’s important to mix it up really good in the soil so that the plants can get the most benefit from it.

Choose Your Annuals for the Right Area

Some people don’t realize that you need to select your annuals based on your available area, meaning if you have a sunny space, you should plant different annuals than if you only have a shady spot. For example, petunias thrive in sunny areas while something like impatiens prefer to have a shady place to grow. Furthermore, when you’re choosing your annuals, there are three main components to consider to create an amazing pot design. They’re called “thriller,” “filler,” and “spiller.”

A “thriller” is a tall, unique plant that stands out from the rest of the batch thanks to its special form and colour, and it’s meant to be a statement piece. “Filler” refers to plants that fill the space and hide the soil, so something like pidans or million bells. Also, when deciding on which “filler” plants are best for you, avoid plants that have a short bloom life and opt for something that can be pinched back to produce more flowers throughout the season. Lastly, “spiller” is any plant that cascades over the side of the planter that adds another layer of interest and dimension to the display—think ivy or trailing vinca.

The only other thing you’ll need to consider when choosing your annuals is that larger pots are always better. This is because they hold their moisture for longer. We recommend getting a pot that’s at least 14 inches in diameter for optimum results.

Post-Planting Maintenance

You’ve got your annuals planted, so now you can let them sit pretty on your deck all season long, right? Unfortunately, there is some post-planting maintenance you need to stay on top of to keep your plants vibrant and healthy. The first thing you need to do upon planting your annuals is ensure the soil is about 1 to 1½ inches from the top of your planter and then give it a thorough drink of water so the moisture can leach down into the soil. For the rest of the season, you’ll need to check your watering at least twice a week. Plus, you’ll want to remember that as the season progresses, you’ll need to water your annuals more as the roots fill up the soil. At Blomidon, we use a liquid feed once a week, along with our slow-release fertilizer, to keep our plants looking their best.

Final Thoughts

With summer fast approaching, many of us are eager to get our annuals planted and displayed in our yards or balconies. And now, you have all the tips, tricks, and best practices to plant your annuals and keep them happy and healthy all season long! However, if you have any further questions about choosing suitable annuals, planting them, or maintaining them, be sure to visit us online or in-store. Our resident plant expert Jackie is always on hand to help you out, and she can be reached by phone at (902) 542-3346 or by email at jbezanson@blomidonnurseries.com.