Most of the flowering bedding plants sold during
Florida's Fall, Winter, and Spring are annuals.
Annuals usually bloom continuously for months and
are then killed by the increasing heat and
humidity as we pass into Summer. They are often
used as companion plants to perennials or bulbs
(which bloom for a much shorter period). If you
want a lot of Fall, Winter, and Spring color in
your garden, be sure to include plenty of annuals
in flower beds and in containers. Although they
must be replaced each year, annuals cannot be beat
for their lengthy show. And because they come out
at the start of the season, you have a chance to
work on soil improvement and change color schemes
and plants each year.
When shopping for annuals, look for plants with
healthy leaves and only a few buds or blossoms.
Most of the annual bedding plants sold are compact
selections and the mature height and spread of the
plants varies with variety. Check plant tags for
recommended spacing and make sure you buy enough
plants to fill the space you have in mind. It
usually takes one or two flats to make a colorful
splash. Keep plants well watered until you plant
them in your garden.
Gently remove transplants from their
containers by turning them upside down and
squeezing from the bottom rather than pulling them
from the top. If some roots have grown out through
the drainage holes, you can pinch these off to
make it easier to remove the plants from the
Set plants at
about the same depth that they grew in their
containers. Make sure that the topmost roots are
covered with about 1/4 inch of soil, but avoid
piling soil or mulch up around the main stem.
the bed with water after you have finished
planting. A thin mulch of pine needles, shredded
bark, or other attractive material will help
control weeds and keep the soil cool and moist.