Annual Plants (1)
Annual plants prefer soil with a pH between 6.3 and 6.7. The required sunlight, best planting time, and spacing differ for different annual plants. Granular fertilizers and water-soluble/liquid fertilizers are two types of fertilizer used in growing annual plants.
- There are two seasons for planting annual plants in areas that witness severe cold weather with freezing temperatures; cool season and warm season.
- Flowers such as "begonia, geranium, impatiens, million bells, petunia, and salvia" are some warm-season annual plants that can be planted during spring and summer, while pansies and violas are some cool-season annual flowers.
- Generally, annuals prefer "well-drained soil with a pH between 6.3 and 6.7."
- The required spacing and planting time for annual plants vary based on types. The recommended spacing and planting time for some popular annual plants can be found here.
- The required sunlight for annual plants is dependent on the type of annual plant before selecting an annual plant.
- Annual plants for full sun can take "8 hours or more of direct, daily sunlight. Part sun plants can take 4 to 6 hours, while plants for shade need 4 hours or less."
- The required sunlight exposure for annual plants varies based on types. The exposure for some popular annual plants can be found here.
- The frequency of watering annual plants is dependent on the weather and season. During the rainy season, annual plants would not need watering after a good soaking rain and not a sudden shower.
- "Drought-tolerant annuals, such as zinnia, marigolds, and cleome, will require minimal watering; once a week will probably be fine. Others, such as snapdragons, alyssum, and impatiens, need regular water or they will suffer stress."
- To ensure that the watering is sufficient, a minimum soil depth of 2 to 3 inches should be wet.
- In general, annual plants are to be watered frequently at germination and seedling stage, and once every 10-14 days during dry weather.
- The watering of annual plants is best done on the base of the plant to ensure that the foliage is dry. When using sprinklers, watering should be done in the morning to ensure that the water on the foliage would dry before the temperature drops.
- Generally, the best indicator for the watering frequency of annual plants is the plant itself. If the leaves start to wilt, become pale or dull, it's an indication that it needs to be watered. However, avoid over-watering as it also makes the leaves to wilt or become pale.
- Pruning is dependent on the type of annual plant. Some varieties produce few to no seeds, hence, they would not require pruning "since plants stop blooming when they go to set seed."
- Annual plants are pruned by using a pruner or scissors to clip-off "as much as one-third of the length of the stems to get them all to be the same length or just trim back the longer ones to come back into line with the rest."
- Fertilizing annual plants is vital to "encourage growth, and create healthy, vigorous, attractive plants that will produce an abundance of flowers", however, there is also a temptation to over-fertilize.
- Over-fertilizing an annual plant forces it to grow above its natural growth rate, hence, exposing the plant to insect or disease infestation.
- It also results in excess foliage with no bloom and reduces the tolerance of the plant to drought or extreme temperatures.
- Also, fertilizers with high nitrogen content are to be avoided, while more phosphorus is encouraged.
- Two types of fertilizers used in planting annual plants are granular fertilizers and water-soluble/liquid fertilizers.
- While granular fertilizers are used at the time of planting and last for the entire season, water-soluble/liquid fertilizers are applied every week or two.
To provide an overview of the planting instructions, sunlight, watering, and pruning aspects of annual plants, your research team have aggregated sources on the growing of annual plants. Note that we have included sources that are beyond Wonder standard of 24 months maximum. This is because such sources still hold relevance to this research.