WHAT ARE ANNUALS?
Annuals are plants that complete their entire life cycle in one season, i.e. from seed to flower and fruiting and back to seed again.
The entire plant dies down after the season and only the seeds survive to ensure its survival and continuation into the next season.
A season typically runs from spring to late summer /early autumn for summer annuals and from autumn to late winter /early spring for winter annuals.
We usually associate annuals with colourful bedding plants, but herbs and vegetables also occur as annual plants.
WHY PLANT ANNUALS?
- Annuals flowers are great for creating instant, but long lasting, colour in garden beds as well as in containers and hanging baskets.
- Annuals are also a quick way to fill gaps left by dormant perennials and bulbs. By the time the perennials emerge again, the annual will be near the end of its lifespan.
- They’re great value for money as they are usually sold in seedling trays of 4, 6 or more and will last a whole season.
- The colourful annual flowers also serve to attract bees, butterflies and a range of other beneficial insects and pollinators to the garden.
CARING FOR YOUR ANNUALS
The blooming season for your flowering annuals can be greatly extended by practicing deadheading. This prevents the flowers from going to seed and encourages more blooms. Click |HERE| to read more about deadheading.
Because they pack all their growing into one season, annuals need loads of nutrients. Add bone meal to the beds when planting and feed the seedling fortnightly with a balanced seedling food. Once established, feed the plants fortnightly with a water soluble plant food.
EXAMPLES OF ANNUAL FLOWERS
Impatiens, New Guinea Impatiens, Cosmos, Nasturtiums, Phlox, Portulaca, Zinnia, Begonias, Browalia, Coleus, Foxgloves, Hypoestes, Salvia, Bacopa, Bedding Dahlia, Celosia, Delphiniuims and Marigolds.
Pansy, Viola, Calendula, Ornamental Kale, Lupins, Vygies, Nemesia, Phlox, Poppies, Stocks, Sweet Peas, Godetia, Bellis, Cineraria, Mimulus, Fairy Primula and Primrose.
Annuals that can be grown throughout the year include: Petunias, Alyssum, Chrysanthemum, Dusty Miller, Dianthus, Lobelia, Snapdragons and Verbena.