Before getting started, remember that different plants have different watering requirements. This blog contains general tips for watering annuals. Make sure you research the plant you’re working with for more detailed information.
Annuals, with their shallow roots, will typically need water every single day. Especially if they’re in the hot sun. On those hot sunny days water your annuals twice a day. Don’t let your annuals dry out, especially if they’re in a container. Do not wait for your annuals to wilt before watering. Most annuals like their soil evenly moist about 2 to 3 inches down. Water deeply to promote strong roots. To do this, make sure the water penetrates the soil down to the plant roots and below. Annuals planted in flower beds may not need as much water as those in containers. Always be mindful of the weather, on a rainy day you may not need to water. While on a sunny day, it is necessary to give your annuals a drink.
When watering, try your best to water the soil directly. Check if your plant is ready for water by pushing your finger into the soil and checking to see if it is soggy or dry. Another method is looking at your soil and seeing if it looks like milk chocolate or dark chocolate. If the soil is light brown resembling milk chocolate, it is ready for a drink. Drought tolerant plants such as marigolds, zinnia, and cleome are okay with minimal watering. While others such as snapdragons, alyssum, and impatiens require regular watering.
If your annuals are in a porch pot or hanging basket, it is important to consider the type of container it is in. Some pots like terracotta are more porous than others. Plants in these containers may need more water than pots that retain more water. Plants grown in a container will dry out more quickly. For watering hanging baskets, water all the way through until the water comes out the bottom of your pot. This will help promote a stronger root system.
Encourage new blooms by deadheading (pinching off) any dead blooms. Flowers like petunias, salvia, marigolds, and geraniums need to be pinched back on the stem to the base. This prevents the plant from going to seed and encourages continuous blooms. With flowers like impatiens, flowering vinca, lobelia, and begonia, deadheading is not necessary.
For more information give our greenhouse team a call. Happy watering!