One of the best ways to instantly improve your property’s “curb appeal” is by installing plant material with colorful flowers or foliage.
There are basically two types of flowers: annual and perennial. An annual flower or plant lives it’s entire life cycle in one growing season. This plant will grow, flower and then die when the season is over and will not return unless replanted. Examples of popular flowering annuals are Impatiens (mainly shade), Begonias (sun loving), Marigolds (sun), and Geraniums (part sun and shade). In addition there are annuals that are planted for their attractive foliage such as Coleus.
Annuals will thrive easily regardless of soil conditions as long as they receive the proper amount of light and of course, water! Local hardware stores such as Ocean View Hardware are good source for bargains on annuals in the springtime, as they are typically overlooked for plant material.
Perennials are flowering plants that have an indefinite life span. Perennials have limited times of flowering but do not have to be planted every season as they are hardy and come back every season with the proper maintenance. Some of the most popular full sun perennials are Rudbeckia (Black Eyed Susans), Phlox, (creeping and upright), Peonies, and Echinacea (Purple Coneflower). Perennials require a little more attention when first planted. Most perennials do better in a well-drained soil, so it is recommended to cultivate in a good amount of peat moss in the soil bed where you plan on installing your perennials.
Whether it’s annuals or perennials they both benefit from an occasional fertilizing with a quality, medium impact fertilizer such as Osmocote or anything with an analysis of 10-10-10, which will be on the front of the bag. Be careful to not over fertilize, as there is such a thing as too much of good thing. In addition, to promote continuous flowering, you should regularly “dead head” your plants. All this entails is pinching or twisting off the spent or dead flowers on your plants. This method ensures that all the available energy in the plant goes to producing flowers and not to a “ dead head”.
Next article we’ll go more in depth with planting containers and methods to help your perennials spread and proliferate.
Ocean View Hardware
9620 Granby Street
Norfolk, VA 23503