Lush Life

5 tips for lush-looking annuals, from summer through fall

Those lazy days of summer are upon us… but do you know what? I feel anything but lazy this time of year, because this is when I get the most excited about gardening!

Many annuals do best during these months – they can thrive in the heat and the long hours of sunshine. It’s exactly this stimulant that the plants have been waiting for, and they’re now ready to produce an abundance of flowers. So now that the annuals are flowering in full force, here are five tips for keeping those planters looking full and healthy:

container plants

1. Fertilize

Annuals are ferocious feeders, and this is their season to shine! Use a liquid fertilizer once per week to stimulate new growth. To prevent root burn, remember to always water before applying the fertilizer.

2. Cut back

Cut back those long, leggy flower stalks. Most annuals benefit from an aggressive pruning – they will bush out lower down, resulting in a much fuller plant.

3. Deadhead

Deadhead regularly to prevent the plant from going to seed!

4. Fill in

Fill those empty spaces with new annuals in order to extend your planter well into the fall.

5. Try something new

It’s not too late to add a new plant variety or two to your summer mix. We are always bringing in something new and different to the garden center and encourage you to try different annuals, tropicals, perennials and shrubs for all your container needs.

A few heat-loving annual varieties to consider:

  • Celosia
  • Coleus
  • Cordyline grass
  • Dracaena spikes
  • Dusty miller
  • Geranium
  • Gerbera daisy
  • Heuchera
  • Marigold
  • Morning glory
  • Nasturtium
  • New guinea impatiens
  • Osteospermum
  • Petunia
  • Portulaca
  • Scaevola
  • Snapdragon
  • Sunpatiens
  • Verbena
  • Vinca

Sunpatiens (photo: Proven Winners)

Tropical plants can be the stars of a container, too! They will bloom summer through fall, bringing new life and inspiration to your planters! We stock many varieties of tropicals, including:

  • Agapanthus
  • Alocasia (elephant ears)
  • Bougainvillea
  • Canna lily
  • Dipladenia
  • Gardenia
  • Jasmine
  • Mandevilla
  • Tropical hibiscus
  • Passion flower

Bougainvillea (photo: Wikipedia)

With a huge selection of “heat loving” plants available, there is no reason your planters, containers, window boxes and garden beds can’t be colorful from now until first frost.  Come on in and talk to any of our knowledgeable staff members to help you with your planting needs – or send me an email at