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Best Ways to Feed Annual Flowers
Annual flowers offer a quick and easy way to spruce up the garden. When healthy and well fed, such plants create a continuous show of seasonal blooms. Keeping annuals flowering requires that you pay careful attention to fertilizing.
Amend the soil
Prior to planting annuals, amend the soil with nutrient-rich compost, which will enrich the planting area and make the bed a hospitable location for flowering plants. If you have poor drainage, amending with compost also helps to break up the soil.
Add slow-release annual flower fertilizer
Fertilizers that break down over an extended period slowly releasing nutrients to the soil are especially effective for annuals, which are continuously blooming and therefore need a constant source of nutrients. Such fertilizers often consist of coated pellets that release plant food for several months.
Follow package directions carefully when adding any granular fertilizer to the soil. Excess fertilizer in the soil can lead to burned roots, which can be fatal to annual flowers.
Supplement annuals with liquid fertilizer
Water-soluble liquid fertilizers offer an effective way to boost nutrients available to annuals to ensure that they continue to flower over as long a season as possible. Avoid overfeeding annuals by fertilizing at half-strength with liquid foods and no more than once a month.
For extra fast results and the best annual flowers, try foliar feeding, which involves spraying the plant leaves with liquid fertilizer. The plants absorb the nutrients through the leaves, which results in initiating quicker, more profuse flowering. Use only liquid fertilizers that indicate foliar feeding is possible.
When to feed annual flowers
Add slow-release fertilizer at planting and use liquid supplemental fertilizer at one-month intervals, starting once the annuals begin active growth. You know the plant is actively growing when you see new leaves and flower bud formation.
It’s also a good idea to feed annuals right after pruning or deadheading. At this time, the plants enter a reproductive phase when it comes to buds, which is just the right time to provide them with nutrients for further growth.
Choose annuals carefully
Pay attention to what varieties of annuals you plant, and you’re likely to have the most blooms. Choose the best annual flowers for your yard that do well in your geographic climate. Also make sure to plant them in the correct exposure in the yard. Many annuals, like sunflowers, require full-sun, but some, such as impatiens, do better in some shade.