skip to main content

Tips to Make the Most out of Your Annual Plants

We see them just about everywhere around this time of year in hanging baskets, patio pots and arranged beautifully in garden beds. Annual plants, such as petunias, geraniums and begonias to name a few, complete their life cycle within a years’ time. Being both fairly easy to care for and their ability to look stunning all season long, annuals are perfect for any gardener, with or without experience.

During the pandemic many novice gardeners picked up the hobby of gardening though annual plants, transforming their garden space into a blooming oasis. Continue reading if you are new to these beautiful outdoor plants and would like a few care tips or would like to learn more about them.

LIGHT

Most annuals require full sun, at least six to eight hours daily. Annuals that thrive in the sun include geraniums, petunias and marigolds.

If partial shade is an option or necessity based on where you want to place the flowers, good varieties include begonias, impatiens, fuchsia and coleus.

WATER

Annuals don’t have deep roots because they focus on producing flowers. Be aware of outside conditions such as heat, direct sunlight and wind which can dry the soil out quickly.

Most annuals like soil that is slightly or evenly moist two to three inches down. A rule of thumb is that when the soil is dry one inch below the surface, its time to give the plant water.

The lush foliage of some annual plants can make it difficult for water to make its way down to its roots, so do more than “sprinkle”, water deeply.

When container gardening, check often for water and use containers with drainage holes.

NUTRIENTS

Container plants don’t come in nutrient-rich soil, rather a potting mix including peat moss. Providing your plants with a water-soluble fertilizer on a weekly basis, whether in the garden or in a container will help to make the plant as beautiful and healthy as possible.

NEW GROWTH

Sometimes annuals benefit from a bit of “refreshing” during the heat of the summer. Just pick or trim tired blooms and give them some water-soluble fertilizer and they’ll spring back.

By following these steps, you will be sure to enjoy healthy, vibrant annuals all summer long.

Extending the Life of your Spring Bulbs

Even after the Easter Bunny has visited and the last eggs are hunted, Easter bulbs – such as daffodils (narcissus), hyacinths, and tulips will bring beauty and color into your home. In fact, you can make the flowers last a lot longer by following these few tips.

The key to making the blooms last longer is to keep the plants in a cool place, such as your garage or porch. For smaller plants, such as a single-bloom hyacinth, finding space in your refrigerator will work just as well. This will stall the normal aging process, extending the life of the blooms.

Keeping your bulbs in a cool place overnight or while at work will help extend the life of your bloom and allow for maximum enjoyment when you are at home. Not all bulbs are freeze tolerant so keep temperatures in mind, especially overnight.

Like any living plant, it’s also important to keep the plants watered. Most bulbs like to be watered at soil level rather than overhead. Do not overwater, the soil should not be saturated at all times.

After your bulb plants have finished blooming, let the plant die back into itself. Allowing the leaves to yellow and wither before removing will help nourish the bulb for the following year by. Keep in mind this is different from deadheading the bloom which can be beneficial to bulb growth. Keep the bulb in its pot and store in a cool, dark place. In early fall, separate the bulbs and plant them in your garden in anticipation of their blooming again next spring. Be mindful that some bulbs will not come back depending on climates, among other reasons, following these tips does not guarantee that your bulbs will bloom again.

Poinsettia Facts & Tips for this Christmas and Next

We typically think of the North Pole when it comes to Christmas, but the most popular holiday plant originates with our neighbor to the south.

Poinsettias are native to Mexico and were introduced to the United States in 1825 by Joel Roberts Poinsett, who was the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico.

In fact, Poinsett’s death in 1851 is commemorated every Dec. 12 as National Poinsettia Day.

Did You Know?

  • The colored parts of poinsettias aren’t flowers but bracts (leaves).
  • Poinsettias are not poisonous, to humans or pets: An Ohio State study found that a 50-pound child who ate 500 bracts (leaves) might have a slight tummy ache.
  • Poinsettias are commercially grown in all 50 states. For instance, the 20,000 poinsettias that Royer’s receives each year are from Lancaster County.
  • Ninety percent of all poinsettias are exported from the United States.

Poinsettia Care

Keeping your poinsettia looking great this Christmas takes two easy steps, but did you know with a few more steps you can have a wonderful poinsettia next Christmas as well?

This Christmas

  • When the surface of the soil is dry to the touch, water the plant.
  • Keep the poinsettia in a room with temperatures between 60 and 72 degrees. Keep the plant out of hot and cold drafts, such as those from a heating vent or open door.

Next Christmas

  • When leaves begin to drop, let dry slightly between watering.
  • In late spring (early May) cut back plant to 6 inches, shake free of soil and repot in new potting soil, then resume regular watering. Fertilize with a 30-10-10 fertilizer twice monthly. Stop fertilizing November 1st until December 30th.
  • Place outdoors in a warm sunny location when the temperatures are consistently over 60 degrees.
  • Pinch the tips of new shoots when they reach 6 to 8 inches long until late July. Continue to fertilize every two weeks.
  • Bring indoors before cold nights (early September) and place indoors in full sun. Three to six hours of sunlight is needed.
  • In order for poinsettias to bloom, they must have 14 hours of uninterrupted darkness each day for 40 days (late September through October). Place in a dark place such as a closet or cover with a bag from early evening and remove the next morning so that the plant is in total darkness.
  • When #6 is followed, your poinsettia will bloom at Christmas, but remember, it only takes 10 minutes of light per day during the time it was dark and your plant won’t bloom until January or February.

Need help sorting out clovers from shamrocks? You’re in luck


I’m looking over a four-leaf clover that I over looked before.
Most of us have heard the song by that name, which also happens to be its first line. But you’re in rare company if you’ve actually come across a four-leaf clover in the wild.
Your odds of finding one? One in 10,000, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac. They’re so rare because they are an unusual mutation of a three-leaf clover.
Of course, we commonly associate the three-leaf clover with St. Patrick’s Day and Ireland. It’s also known as a shamrock, which comes from an Irish word that means “little clover.”

St. Patrick is said to have explained the holy trinity – father, son and holy spirit – by using a shamrock.

Here’s a way to keep things straight: All shamrocks are clovers, but not all clovers are shamrocks. That is, if a clover is a shamrock with three leaves, by definition it can’t have four leaves.
A shamrock is not associated with any specific clover species, of which there are hundreds. One of the plants that is called shamrock is oxalis, also known as wood sorrel or “love plant.” Royer’s obtains its oxalis plants from Canada.
Oxalis also is called a “false shamrock” because it’s not actually in the shamrock family but is better suited to the indoor environment than clover species are.
The oxalis plant is photophilic, meaning that its leaves and flowers close at night and open in the morning. Oxalis likes bright light, including full afternoon sun in the winter.

HOW TO LOVE YOUR LOVE PLANT (OXALIS)

  • Keep the soil barely damp, allowing it to dry slightly between waterings.
  • Cool temperatures are best, especially during blooming: 50 to 65 degrees at night, 70 to 75 degrees during day.
  • When the plant is actively growing in the winter/spring, feed it liquid fertilizer once per month. When it stops blooming, fertilize every other month until it goes dormant.
  • In the summer, oxalis will go dormant. When it starts to fade, stop watering and store the plant for two to three months in a cool, dark place. for a few weeks to three months. After this period, bring the plant back out and resume watering.
  • The plant can be repotted and/or divided, although it can remain in the same soil and pot for several years. To divide while the plant is dormant, look for small, bulb-like structures just below the soil surface. Gently pull these apart and pot in small groups.

Poinsettia primer: learning about and caring for the most popular holiday plant

Poinsettias
We typically think of the North Pole when it comes to Christmas, but the most popular holiday plant originates with our neighbor to the south.
Poinsettias are native to Mexico and were introduced to the United States in 1825 by Joel Roberts Poinsett, who was the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico.
In fact, Poinsett’s death in 1851 is commemorated every Dec. 12 as National Poinsettia Day.
Some other facts:

  • The colored parts of poinsettias aren’t flowers but bracts (leaves).
  • Poinsettias have been called the lobster flower and flame leaf flower.
  • Poinsettias are not poisonous, to humans or pets: An Ohio State study found that a 50-pound child who ate 500 bracts (leaves) might have a slight tummy ache.
  • Poinsettias are commercially grown in all 50 states. For instance, the 20,000 poinsettias that Royer’s receives each year are from Lancaster County.
  • Ninety percent of all poinsettias are exported from the United States.

Source: www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/poinsettia 
HOW TO CARE FOR POINSETTIAS:

  • Average room temperature is fine; they cannot tolerate cold.
  • Bright light is best, as they originate from the warm, bright southwest and Mexico. If given ample sunlight, they’ll last well into the new year.
  • Avoid keeping a plant too wet, they like moist but not wet. Frequency and amount of water will vary depending upon amount of sun, humidity in house and pot size.

5 things you should know about caring for annual plants

Dollarphotoclub_60199896petuniasedited
So you bought annual plants in a container at your local florist, garden center or home-improvement store.
Annual plants – such as petunias, geraniums and begonias that complete their life cycles in one year – pose perennial challenges once you bring them home.
Here are five things you should know about caring for your annuals:
1. You have to add nutrients: Your plant didn’t come in nutrient-rich soil. Rather, it’s a potting mix that includes peat moss. This mixture is inert, meaning that it doesn’t contain the nutrients found in soil. So you have to add the nutrients by applying fertilizer on a regular basis.
2. Fertilizer is soluble, so you have to keep adding it: Regular watering of your annual plants will wash out the added nutrients if the container has drainage holes on the bottom.
3. Don’t add too much fertilizer: One of the ingredients in fertilizer is salt. Too much fertilizer – and with it, too much salt – can damage plant roots. The salt in the fertilizer will remove whatever moisture is left in the roots and burn them.
4. Cut the amount in half: Whatever dosage the fertilizer manufacturer recommends, consider cutting the amount in half and fertilizing every time you water. This way you have less of a chance of burning the roots, and your plant gets a continual supply of nutrients rather than peaks and valleys.
5. Give them a pinch: Remove the old blooms and pinch a plant’s tips, which will force out new growth. An occasional light trim will keep a plant bushy and blooming.
With proper care, your annual plants will bloom beautifully for you this summer.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Royer’s delivers Mother’s Day flower and plant tips to Fox 43

IMG_3109
Barry Spengler of Royer’s Flowers talks Mother’s Day with Fox 43’s Heather Warner.

Barry Spengler, Royer’s vice president of operations, has a simple message when it comes to Mother’s Day.
“The key,” he told Fox 43’s Heather Warner, “just don’t forget Mom. That’s bad.”
Barry offered a number of options, from one or two roses wrapped up to a mixed bouquet in a vase to porch plants such as gerbera daisies or calla lilies.
Potted plants want to be outside, he said, and require a lot of water.
“People under-water these,” he said. “They need a lot of water. I get a gallon jug, fill it all the way up. And I usually dump most of the gallon a day on it. All of the excess will run out. …
“And every once a week, I usually add the fertilizer to the jug and fill it.”
You can view the entire segment below.

Annual plants add beauty: 3 tips for taking care of them


Colorful flowering annual baskets and pots provide an easy and inexpensive way to increase the beauty and enjoyment of outside living areas.
Annual plants are available in a wide range of colors and varieties, offering something for everyone.
Care is simple. Just keep these things in mind:
• Choose plants suited to the light levels they’re growing in:

  • Sunny spots require plants that thrive in the sun, such as geraniums, petunias, marigolds, salvia, ageratum, alyssum and portulaca.
  • Plants that do better with partial shade are begonias, impatiens, fuchsia and coleus.

• Container plants drink lots of water. Check them daily.
• To keep the blooms coming all season, add a water-soluble fertilizer a couple of times each week when watering. Plants also can be encouraged to bloom and stay “bushy” by pinching off the spent blooms.
 

Mums the word year-round

Many of us decorate porches and patios with hardy mums in the fall. But a little bit of loving and some attention to the calendar can help you get the most out of your mums and even keep them blooming in a garden for years to come.
33-12xlg
If you planted mums in the ground back in the fall, then the summer months are important in their growth cycle.

Pinching: By July 15, you should pinch the top growth back 1 to 2 inches. This will ensure that your mums bloom in the fall rather than during the summer.

Feeding: From spring through July, nourish your mums twice a month with an all-purpose garden fertilizer mixed in water. Stop feeding in August.
Controlling pests: Aphids are the most common pests that afflict garden mums. These are small soft-bodied insects about the size of a pinhead. They range in color from green to yellow to black. They make their livings by sucking the sap out of tender new growth. To control them, spray an all-purpose insecticide or insecticidal soap on the plants once a week for a couple of weeks. Take care not to spray plants in direct sun or when the temperature is above 90 degrees.

Now, if you are thinking about planting your potted mum for the first time, here are some steps to take:

• Be sure to water your potted mums daily as warm days will make them thirsty. At the same time, too much water can damage the roots; provide drainage in decorative pots or baskets.
• It’s best to plant the mums in October so their roots have time to grow before cold weather sets in.
• Once the mums are planted, water them thoroughly a couple of times each week through mid-November. This will encourage the roots to grow deeply. The deeper the roots, the stronger the plants will be.
• In late spring, cut the plants down 6 to 8 inches above the ground. This will give you bushy, compact plants with lots of flowers. As spring gives way to summer, follow the instructions above relative to feeding and pinching.

Here’s how to extend the life of your Easter blooms

Even after the Easter Bunny has visited and the last eggs are hunted, Easter plants will bring beauty and color into your home. In fact, you can make the flowers last a lot longer by following some easy steps.
What’s more, after your bulb plants – such as daffodils, hyacinths, tulips, crocus and narcissus – have finished blooming, you can transplant the bulbs into the ground and watch the flowers come up next year.
The key to making the flowers/blooms last longer – perhaps twice as long – is to keep the plants in a cool place, such as at night. This will stall the normal aging process, extending the life of the blooms.
While you’re sleeping, place the plants in your garage or out on your porch (but don’t let them freeze), and then bring them back inside your house in the morning. For smaller plants, such as a single-bloom hyacinth, you might even have room in your refrigerator.
Of course, it’s also important to keep the plants watered.
Once the blooms peak, let the plant die back into itself, nourishing the bulb. Keep the bulb in its pot and store in a cool, dark place. In early fall, separate the bulbs and plant them in your garden in anticipation of their blooming again next spring.