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Annual Plants and Flowers: A Guide for Beginner Gardeners


Have you ever walked into a gardening store and suddenly felt overwhelmed by all the different types of plants and flowers? For many beginner gardeners, the process of selecting plants and flowers can be confusing and bewildering. If you are planting your first garden, the best choice is to select annuals. Annuals are one of the simplest flowers to plant and grow. They can be planted in almost any kind of soil. Most annuals require at least a half a day of sunlight. With some watering and care, they make a fantastic choice for your first home garden.

When selecting your annuals, purchase enough so that you don't have to run back to the gardening store. Make a plan for where you want to plant the annuals, and how close together you'll plant them. This will help you determine how many plants to purchase.

Planting annuals in front of your home will add curb appeal. A simple way to incorporate annuals into your front yard landscape is to hang baskets of annuals on your porch. Select annuals whose colors match the brick or siding on your home. In just a few weeks, the annuals will increase the beauty of your home.

Characteristics of Annuals

  • 1 year life cycle
  • Abundant and quick bloom
  • Large color choice
  • Great in planters, including hanging baskets.
  • Low maintenance
  • Require little fertilizer
Types of Annuals

Common types of annuals planted in gardens include: impatiens, marigolds, begonias, geraniums and petunias.

Impatiens
Impatiens are the most popular type of annuals. They require the least amount of care and they thrive in a shady environment. Impatiens are often sold in six packs. They are also sold in pre-planted hanging baskets. Avoid purchasing full bloom impatiens. Although they are beautiful with color, they are not necessarily the best. It is better to select a plant that looks strong and moist. Impatiens grow quickly and your plants be in full bloom, in no time!

Marigolds
Marigolds are tall flowers (average 20 inches) with yellow and orange blooms. They thrive in warmer climates with lots of sunlight. Marigolds have a strong scent which some people find unpleasant. However, the scent can be helpful as it repels many garden pests.

Begonias
Begonias are popular plants in flowerbeds, hanging baskets and containers. They are also good indoor houseplants. There are a large variety of begonias available, each with a bright yellow center. Begonias have dense foliage and usually grow to about 6-9 inches.

Geraniums
Geraniums are versatile and have similar characteristics to impatiens. They are extremely colorful and bloom easily. A shorter plant with short branches is a better choice than a tall, thin plant. The shorter plants are stronger and are more likely to produce a greater bloom.

Petunias
Petunias are known for their vibrant color and bright green foliage. They grow best in full sunlight, but they will also grow beautifully in shady areas with 6 hours of full sunlight each day.

 


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