The Q&A Archives: Flowering Times of Annuals

Question: Can you please tell us how many days annuals such as wax begonias, dusty millers, lobelias, impatiens, snapdragons, salvia, sensitive plants, marigolds, coleus, alyssum, cosmos, and petunias take to flower?

Answer: Tis the season to plan the summer flower beds! Growing conditions affect when plants actually bloom, so I can't give you exact dates. I can tell you when to start the seed indoors under lights to maximize bloom time. Most should be started 8-10 weeksbefore you set them out (after danger of frost has passed). Exceptions are: cosmos (6 weeks) and wax begonia (16 weeks). Check your seed catalogs and seed packets for specific recommendations, since some varieties may need more/less time than I've stated.<br><br>Annuals are wonderful because they bloom all season long, so long as you deadhead (remove spent blooms) them regularly. Deadheading encourages more blossoms. Without it, the plants put their energy into seed production rather than more flower buds. Enjoy!

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