Annuals can provide beautiful color and vibrancy to your lawn or garden. However, many people do not know what exactly to look for besides the color of the annual when shopping at a garden center. When you are shopping for blooming annuals, there are a couple specific things to look for. Looking carefully at the buds, foliage, and soil can give you a good idea of whether or not the plant will last for the rest of the season at your home.
The Flowers and Buds
To begin, you want to pick a plant that is more compact in shape and size rather than leggy. You also want to look for sprouting buds, which are more important than the existing flowers. The existing flowers will die off in a relatively short period of time, but if your plant has a good number of buds then you can then expect it to continue to produce the beautiful colors that you are hoping for throughout the rest of the season.
In terms of foliage, you want the foliage on the plant to be green and full. What you don’t want to see is spots, holes, or mildew and fungus like film on the plant. Mildew and fungus on annuals can look white or can range in color; you may see some black spots from spores. Lastly, in terms of foliage you don’t want the leaves to seem wilted or dried out, this could be a sign that the plant has not been watered enough and will in turn not do well once you get it home.
Lastly, examine the soil, notice if the soil in the pot or flat is soaking wet, bone dry, or perfectly moist. You want the soil to be a little moist but not soggy. If the soil is so dry that the planting soil is smaller than the pot, there is usually no hope of bringing the plant back to life. If the soil is too wet, the root system may have mold or fungus on it and the plant won’t last as long as it would with a healthy root system. When picking out flats of annuals be sure that the soil conditions are relatively the same throughout the tray. Make sure that the whole tray has moist soil, you don’t want to get your flat of annuals home and have only half of them live.
Matching the Existing Growing Conditions
In order for your annuals to thrive, they need to get the appropriate amount of sunlight and water to meet their growing needs. You should strive to pick annuals that meet the existing growing conditions at your home.
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