The Q&A Archives: Keeping Annuals Healthy

Question: Every year I plant annuals ? pansies, violas, lobelia, etc. - in containers and they look great for the first month or two. But by the end of July, despite daily watering and weekly feedings, they begin to wane. How can I keep my container plants looking pert and perky?

Answer: The secret to getting great-looking annuals all season long is both plant selection and care. The plants you named tend to do best in cooler weather, so once the temperatures heat up they naturally begin to fade no matter what you do. You might try an early planting of these cool climate lovers and follow it with a back up planting of other more heat-tolerant plants like tropicals, (they don't even kick into gear until the weather gets hot enough to suit them).

Good care includes regular watering, feeding and deadheading so the plants send their energy into producing more blooms rather than seeds. Initial planting can also make a difference. Select healthy plants that haven?t been stressed or rootbound, refresh the potting soil in the containers annually and be sure to use pots large enough to accommodate the plants. Ask a Certified Nursery Consultant at The Home Depot to help you select hearty annuals with long blooming times.

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