Keeping Your Annuals Looking Lush

By David Christopher, Agway of Orleans

The ‘lazy days of summer’ have come upon us but do you know that this is when I get more excited about gardening! Many of our annuals do best during these months and will thrive in the heat and the long hours of sunshine. It’s exactly this stimulant that these plants have been waiting for to produce an abundance of flowers.

Here are a few helpful hints to keeping those planters looking full and healthy:

  1. Annuals are ferocious feeders and this is their season to shine! Use a liquid fertilizer once per week to stimulate new growth. Always water before applying the fertilizer in order to prevent root burn.

  2. Cut back those long, leggy flower stalks. Most annuals benefit from an aggressive pruning and will bush out lower down for a much fuller plant.

  3. Deadhead regularly to prevent the plant from going to seed!

  4. Fill those empty spaces with new annuals in order to extend your planter well into the fall. 

  5. Try new plant varieties. Agway is always bringing in something new and different to the garden center and we encourage you to try different annuals, tropicals, perennials and shrubs. Have fun with your garden!

Some varieties of heat loving annuals to consider are celosia, coleus, cordyline grass, dracaena spikes, dusty miller, geranium, gerbera daisy, heuchera, marigold, morning glory, nasturtium, new guinea impatiens, osteospermum, petunia, portulaca, scaevola, snapdragon, sunpatiens, verbena and vinca.

Tropical plants can be ‘stars’ in a container as well. They will bloom summer thru fall and really bring you some new life and inspiration! We stock many varieties including agapanthus, alocasia (elephant ears), bougainvilla, canna lily, dipladenia, gardenia, jasmine, mandevilla, tropical hibiscus, and passion flower.

With a huge selection of “heat loving” plants available, there is no reason your planters, containers, window boxes and garden beds can’t be colorful from now until first frost. Come on in and talk to any one of our knowledgeable staff members to help you with your planting needs.