The Q&A Archives: Long Blooming Flowers

Question: I'm starting to plant flower seeds for edging around my yard. Which flowers stay in bloom from spring to fall? I would like them to be no taller than about 6" and they will be in direct sunlight.

Answer: You have great conditions for growing a huge array of annual flowers. Annuals have a long bloom period, which you can extend if you "dead-head," or cut off, the spent flowers. The goal of an annual flower is to produce seed within one season, so as long as you keep the old blossoms trimmed off, the plants should keep pumping out the buds.

Also, make sure the plants don't dry out. Most of the ones I've listed are drought-tolerant once they get established, but will perform better if the soil is kept evenly moist. Use slow-release fertilizer as directed for flowers to keep them looking their best. Too much fertlizer will promote lots of green growth at the expense of blooms.

Zinnias, alyssum, impatiens, nasturtium, marigolds, and petunias are good choices -- just make sure to read the variety description when choosing varieties to make sure they fit your scheme. You can read more about these varieties on the Burpee on-line catalog. Enjoy!

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