April showers bring May FLOWERS. After the winter that we’ve all had, the thought of warm weather, sunshine, and smiling flowers is more than satisfying. To add some color to your landscaping, consider planting some annuals.
We found these great tips from HGTV Gardens on how to buy the best annuals and grace your home with the color that it so deserves.
You’ll find annuals in containers of many sizes, including tiny three-cell packs, larger 9-cell packs, 2-, 4- and 6-inch pots, quarts and gallons. When should you pay the price for a larger container? That depends. For economy, you can’t beat the typical 4-cell pack. In beds and pots, many annuals look best when they’re planted in groups of three or more. Packs give you the volume to maintain that natural look at a lower price than individual 4-inch pots. Annuals you bring home in packs may take longer to fill in and create a lush look, but ultimately they present the same show as larger plants. Pots always cost more, but the plant has a robust, established root system that takes off quickly in the garden or pot.
Inspect plants carefully. Check leaves for signs of mold, rot or spots. In a flat of annuals, fungus problems spread fast. If at all possible, don’t buy packs or pots located near a clearly diseased plant. Avoid annuals with webbing or insects.
The best annuals should be well-proportioned in relationship to the pot or pack. Plants that are too tall for the container have been in it too long. You can trim many annuals before planting; you’ll just have to endure a sometimes-gawky look until plants rebound.
Unless you want a specific blossom color, purchase plants that are budded, not blooming. That way you can enjoy the flower show. If you’re aiming for a consistent look by purchasing a flat of the same annuals, double-check plant tags in every pack. Make sure you’re getting the plants you want.
Last but not least, inspect plant roots. Gently squeeze the container and then tip it over while cradling the plant with your hand. Healthy roots are white and have an almost crunchy feel. Brown or black roots or soil that smells sour are problems you don’t want to bring home.
Hopefully these tips will give you just enough buying knowledge to give those naturally green-thumbed folks a run for their money.