How to Grow Annual Flowers

How to Grow Annual Flowers

Growing annual flowers from seed is a cheap and easy way of making a greenhouse attractive — not only to humans, but also to pollen- and nectar-seeking insects. When the plants outgrow their welcome you can discard them and try something new the following year.

 

Half-hardy annuals

Many half-hardy annuals often used as garden bedding plants flourish in the warm summer conditions in the greenhouse. Plants like gazanias and Swan River daisies (Brachycome ibiderifolia) often produce much better blooms than they do outside, battered by wind and rain.

 

Varieties

How-to-Grow-Annual-Flowers Compact or dwarf varieties of, for example, busy Lizzie (Impatiens), Salvia, Ageratum, and French marigolds (Tagetes) are the most suitable for growing in pots. Single varieties are the best for bees and other insects.

Trailing plants such as lobelia, verbena, and petunias do well in hanging baskets or pots attached to the greenhouse wall.

Half-hardy climbers such as morning glory (Ipomoea) and black-eyed Susan (Thunbergia alata) can be left to scramble up the framework, or can be trained up strings or netting.

 

Sowing

For early blooms, sow half-hardy annuals in late winter to early spring in heat. Prick out and grow on in pots or trays; some heat will still be needed at first. Plant in the greenhouse border, hanging baskets, or 15cm pots in mid- to late spring. For fresh plants later in the summer, make another sowing in mid-spring. No heat should be necessary to raise these, and they should flower well into the autumn.

 

Hardy annuals

Hardy annual flowers are not suitable for growing in the greenhouse in summer; they become leggy and go to seed quickly. However, those hardy enough for autumn sowings will grow well under cover in winter and produce a very early show of flowers. Many of them are amongst the best attractant plants for insects.

 

Varieties

Choose compact species for growing in pots or as a border edging: poached egg plants (Limnanthes Taller annuals like Californian poppies (Eschscholzia californica) also give earlier blooms in the greenhouse.

Douglasii), baby blue eyes (Nemophila menziesii), and dwarf pot marigolds (Calendula officinalis) are a good choice.

Taller plants such as clarkia (C. amoena), cornflowers (Centaura cyanus) and Californian poppies (Eschseholzia californica) need more space in the greenhouse border.

Compact varieties of biennials such as wallflowers (Cheiranthus) and forget-me-nots (Myosotis) also do well in pots.

 

Sowing

Sow biennials in mid-summer, either in a pot for pricking out or in modules. Plant out into the border in early to mid-autumn. Sow annuals in late summer to early autumn, either in modules or directly into the greenhouse border.

 

29. November 2010 by admin
Categories: Annuals, Plants | Tags: | Comments Off on How to Grow Annual Flowers

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