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Bedding Plants – Annuals & Perennials

Bedding plants are normally grouped into Annuals (a plant that germinates, flowers and dies in one year) or Perennials (a plant that lives for more than two years).

Annuals info: Fast growing, heavy blooming and ideal for mass plantings annuals are great for making your yard come alive with exuberant color. Inexpensive, easy and instantaneous effect and here in southern California you can have annuals blooming in your yard year round.

Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals are typically available in your nursery from the fall through to March. Some favorites are:

• Pansies
• Violas
• Snapdragons
• Ornamental Cabbage and Kale
• English Daisy
• African Daisy and Stock
 

Warm Season Annuals

Warm season annuals take their place in the nursery from March through September. Some favorites are:

• Coleus
• Cosmos
• Petunia
• Marigolds
• Zinnia
• Alyssum
• Monkey Flower
• Strawflower
• Salpiglossis
• Verbena
• Celosia
• Nasturtium
• Rudbeckia
 

When planting your annuals, dig your hole twice as deep and wide as your plant container, half fill with planting mix or compost mixed in with a little organic fertilizer, then place the plant in the hole ensuring the crown remains at soil level – just as it was in its pot. When you take the plant out of its nursery container just ruffle up the outer roots leaving the rootball as intact as possible – most annuals have relatively fragile roots systems. Fill in the hole with your compost gently pressing the soil to compact it. Water well. Feed (we favor organic fertilizers) every 2 months and water in well. To keep them blooming a little grooming will go a long way – dead heading (removing spent blooms) will stop seeds from setting (which tells the plant to stop blooming – its work is done!). Also remove any yellow or ugly foliage. 

 

The single most important thing you can do when planting your annual is to give it nutritious, well drained soil. Plant placement is your next important task. As with all plants, annuals grow best when their foliage barely overlaps. This leafy shade conserves soil moisture and encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria that helps the plant absorb nutrients from the soil. Avoid crowding the plants though – this can encourage fungus and mildew. The plant tag should tell you the mature size of your plant and/or recommended spacing.