Tips to Have Your Annuals Bloom All Summer Long

Tips to Have Your Annuals Bloom All Summer Long

"To analyze the charms of flowers is like dissecting music; it is one of those things which it is far better to enjoy, than to attempt to fully understand." Henry Theodore Tuckerman

Summer is short and who doesn't want their annuals to flower as long as possible?

If you have been wondering how you can make your flowering annuals last as long as possible, then here are a few tips gathered from a variety of expert sources:

Planting Tips

1. Take time in choosing your Annuals

According to The Spruce, “When choosing annual flowers for maximum blooming, look for young, bushy plants with no flowers. These will acclimate better in the garden than plants that have become pot-bound or that are already going to seed.”


2. Select Your Plants Based on the Area

If your annuals will be in full sun or full shade, be sure to choose the right plants for the location they will be in.

Experimenting can be fun as well!

3. Healthy Soil

Plants will naturally do better in healthy soil.

Earth Smart Solutions offers a variety of natural products to help improve the health of your soil. Earth Smart's Defender Plant Protector is a natural plant protector which can be used on a wide variety of ornamental plants in order to maintain a strong and healthy harvest  For "initial protection", apply directly to the soil prior to seeding or at the early stages of plant growth.  For "preventative protection", apply as required during growth period. Learn more here.

If using pots, be sure to use good quality soil that is well-draining. Well-draining soil will hold the water long enough for the roots to soak it in while allowing excess water to drain off.

4. Plant Soon After Purchasing

Your annuals will do better if you plant them soon after purchasing. “Give the plants time to get adjusted to being in the ground while they are still young and growing. Water the plants immediately after planting, even if rain is predicted.” (Source: The Spruce)

Also, when you plant, apply a time release, balanced fertilizer.

5. In-Ground Planting vs Pots

“Water and fertilization will need to be provided perhaps twice as often, or more, compared with in-ground plantings.” (Source: HGTV)

6. Use the right size pot

“One of the biggest mistakes gardeners make when growing in containers is selecting a pot that is too small. When growing flowering annuals, small pots quickly become root bound. Once this occurs, they are unable to absorb water or nutrients. The result is a plant that begins to fail quickly.” (Source: This is my Garden)

And when using a pot, make sure to have adequate drain holes to avoid over-watering.

7. Fertilize at Planting

“Feed annuals a granular time released fertilizer at planting time to keep the foliage looking great, and supplement with a liquid "bloom food" throughout the season.“ (Source: HGTV) 

  • Nitrogen: encourages leaf growth
  • Phosphorus: encourages stem strength and bloom production
  • Potassium: increases plant’s hardiness by promoting root development and health

8. Mulch

Applying mulch around annuals will keep the roots moist and cool.

But be careful, “The major drawback to mulching is that it inhibits re-seeding, so try not to mulch until the volunteers from last season are up and growing." (Source: The Spruce)

Maintenance Tips

9. Water Regularly

It is very important to keep annuals watered as they don’t have a deep root system. If the soil feels dry approximately an 1” below the surface, then water.

“Maintaining a healthy soil moisture level will ensure both good bloom production and the longevity of the plant itself. The generally used rule of thumb is one inch of water, from a combination of rainfall and irrigation, per week.” (Source: HGTV)

9. Fertilize

Keep fertilizing throughout the season to encourage blooms.

Earth Smart Solutions Foliar Fertilizer (ESFF) is a natural, safe and effective alternative to chemical fertilizers. It is a broad-spectrum fertilizer formulated flowers, trees, shrubs, fruit, vegetables, root crops and ornamentals. It contains a mixed cultured solution with high grade macro and micro nutrients, amino-acids, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals and proprietary constituents. Learn more about it here.

10. Deadhead

Deadheading removes the spent blooms. Removing the finished blossoms also keeps your annuals looking gorgeous.

Deadheading plants forces them to produce more flowers so that the plants can make seeds and reproduce.

11. Weed

Remove weeds so your flowers don’t have to compete with the weeds for nutrients in the soil.



12. Don’t Over Water

It is important not to over water as the roots will rot if they are sitting in wet soil. A good tip is to use well-draining soil. Well-draining soil will hold the water long enough for the roots to soak it in while allowing excess water to drain off.

13. Prune

The Spruce recommends, “If you have plants that start to look ragged in midsummer, don't be afraid to prune them back by several inches.”

We hope these tips help! 


HGTV, Tips and Tricks For Longer Bloom Times

The Spruce, Expert Tips on How to Make Annuals Bloom

This Is My Garden, The 5 Simple Secrets To Keep Flower Pots Blooming All Summer Long!