Growing Beautiful Annuals in Containers
If you think annuals are only for flowerbeds, you’re missing out. Wherever you grow annuals, they will reward you with beautiful colors, bright foliage, and soothing fragrances all season long. But when you plant them in containers, they provide even more benefits.
5 Reasons to Grow Annuals in Containers:
- Experiment with different types of plant combinations
- Get creative with what you plant them in
- Can move containers around to the ideal location
- It’s easy to do—even for beginners & kids!
- Perfect for those with limited gardening time or space
Gardeners can be Choosers
Let your imagination flow with possibilities, but keep a few things in mind. Think about sun, wind and shade requirements and where you're going to place your plants. Consider flower color, texture & height—how they look alone and in combination. Ask yourself, is the plant compatible with other plants together in the same pot?
It's best to combine plants with similar needs, but sun-loving plants that grow above shade-loving will sometimes work out. The list of annuals ideal for containers is very long.
When you say annuals, petunias, marigolds and impatiens come to mind, but there are other plants that are overlooked. In case you're stuck, I've named 5 of our favorites to get you started.
5 Flowering Favorites
Fuschia – The name is also the color. This plant with lovely little bell-shaped flowers likes partial shade.
Gazania – Or African daisy. Daisy-shaped flowers come in a vivid color range featuring red, orange, yellow, white and pink and close at night. This annual wants full sun.
Begonias – From full sun to dense shade; flowers from spring to first frost in beautiful white, red or pink!
Portulaca – Can you say “hot and dry”? Those are the perfect full-sun conditions for these small, but fast growing annuals with 1" flowers in white, red, orange, pink and yellow.
Verbena – These plants reach a size of six to ten inches. But don't over-pamper them with excesses of anything. Full to partial sun. Verbena blooms in clusters of small flowers in shades of blue, mauve, white, pink or purple.
There’s a lot of latitude when choosing a container for your annuals, but here are a few important things to think about:
- Containers should complement the plant, not overwhelm or outshine it
- Containers should be sturdy but not too heavy
- They should have drainage holes.
- In most cases, containers should be at least 6 inches deep. Taller flowers need deeper containers.
- Cascading plants and vines work well in hanging baskets
- Get creative—use old boots, wheelbarrows or something else that adds character to your garden
Easy Come, Easy Grow
Follow these friendly tips—and grow with confidence.
Make a clean start. Always use a clean container. And use a superior potting mix that drains well and isn't clumpy.
A different kind of deadhead. Keep annuals blooming throughout the season by “deadheading” them. When flowers begin to die, just pop off the seed head with your fingers to encourage new blooms.
Get closer with your plants. Just a side-note—remember, you can plant annual combinations closer together in containers (4"), because their roots won't compete
Feed ’em right. Feed plants regularly with high quality plant food. Follow the application rates on the package
Hold your water. Watering needs vary by plant. In general, don't flood, but thoroughly soak the soil. Excess water should exit through drainage holes in the pot. You shouldn’t see any puddles at top.
I hope I've inspired you to fill your surroundings—and containers—with beautiful annuals. Choosing to grow annuals in containers is the easy part. Deciding on the combination you like best—now that’s the real challenge!
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