Flower Planting Guide & Growing Tips

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Flower Planting Guide & Growing Tips

Flower Planting Guide & Growing Tips

Planting Guide by Flower Type

Add a splash of color to your garden with this guide that covers everything from selecting the right species to mastering care techniques for flourishing blooms for popular flower plants and seed types.

Flower gardens transform spaces into beautiful havens of nature. Selecting the right flowers begins with understanding your garden's specific conditions—sunlight, soil type, and climate zone. Opt for native species for low-maintenance beauty, or experiment with exotic varieties that catch your eye. Each flower has its own requirements for light and soil quality, so it’s crucial to choose plants that will thrive in your garden’s existing environment.

Once you've chosen your seeds or seedlings, preparing the soil is your next step. Most flowers thrive in rich, well-draining soil, so amending your garden with compost or well-rotted manure can significantly improve plant health and bloom quality. Proper planting depth and spacing are critical to avoid overcrowding and to promote healthy air circulation, which minimizes disease risks.

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Caring for Your Flowers Grown from Seed

Caring for your flowers involves regular watering, mulching, and deadheading. Watering should be adjusted based on rainfall and the needs of the plant—some prefer dry conditions, while others need consistently moist soil. Mulch helps retain soil moisture and suppresses weeds, protecting your plants' roots. Deadheading, or removing spent flowers, encourages plants to produce new blooms, extending the flowering period.

With these steps in mind, your garden is set to be a stunning display that not only enhances the aesthetic of your home but also provides a habitat for beneficial insects and birds. 

Ageratum Remove spent blooms to prolong flowering. Keep well-watered in hot, dry weather.
Alyssum, Sweet Shear plants back lightly to promote longer blooming period.
Aster To minimize the possibility of Aster Wilt, plant in a different part of your garden each year.
Begonia Bronze-leaved varieties do particularly well in sun. Keep foliage dry, provide good air circulation around plants.
Chrysanthemum Can also be set out as plants or rooted cuttings. Fertilize heavily. To promote bushy growth and more flowers, pinch out tips several times, up to July 15. Divide in spring.
Coleus Pinch off flower spikes to promote growth and attractive appearance.
Crapemyrtle Started indoors in March from seeds, will bloom in late July. Also available as plants. Hardy in South; in North, bring plants indoors over winter.
Dahlia Blooms first year from seed. Also available as tuberous roots that should be planted 6 inches deep after danger of spring frost. Taller varieties may need staking.
Daylily In South, seed sown in late summer will bloom following year — takes longer in the North. Most commonly grown from plants. Exceptionally easy to grow, weedproof and trouble free.
Delphinium Feed heavily. After blooming, cut back flowering stalks at base to induce fall reblooms.
 Gerbera Seed started in January will bloom in June. Grow in full sun, providing ample moisture. North of Washington, D.C., pot up in fall and grow in a cool sunny window over winter.
Geranium Geranium seeds may germinate irregularly, so do not transplant from tray until germination is complete. Drench seedlings with approved fungicide.
Hollyhock Some bloom from seed the first year, others should be started in August for bloom the following season. Young plants perform best; keep a new supply coming from seed.
Impatiens One of the best of all annuals for shade. Starts blooming in 3 months from seed. Pinch back once or twice before setting out, thus promoting compact, bushy growth.
Lisianthus Move to full, bright light and 80-85° temperature after the small seedlings first become visible.
Marigold Plant overly tall or leggy seedlings deep,so they will root along the stems. Remove spent flowers for appearance and to promote more bloom. Easy!
Pansy Prepare planting site deeply, adding humus. Cool, shady, moist soil gives best results.
Pardancanda Will grow, even under adverse conditions. Use winter mulch north of Zone 7.
Portulaca May be started indoors or sown in the garden.
Primula Hardy sorts also available as plants. Prefer moist soil, high in humus.
Salvia Use reds for concentrated bright color; pastel shades do well in light shade. Drench seedlings with approved fungicide to prevent damping off.
Snapdragon Pinch back after blooming to promote a second flush of bloom.
Strawflower To preserve, cut when showing good color and hang upside down, where air circulation is good.
Sunflower Easily grown in sun. Large kinds provide edible seed for people or birds.
Vinca Periwinkles are excellent for foliage effect and flowers from June to frost. Both creeping and dwarf upright types are available.
Zinnia Plant where good air circulation is available.