Coloring Your Garden With Annuals

Perennials and shrubs are often described as the backbone of the garden as they provide structure and stability. Annuals are the flare giving generous, gorgeous and glorious color! Annuals afford the opportunity to use an entirely new color scheme to decorate your garden each and every year.

Looking for inspiration?

Look no further than the 2019 Pantone® Color of the Year – Living Coral. Imagine Living Coral sprinkled in your hanging baskets, mixed containers, and scattered among your perennials. A few examples of plants with coral colored flowers that readily available at your locally owned garden centers are: dahlias, tulips, geraniums, hibiscus, snapdragons, zinnias, impatiens and even coleus!

Planting a single plant variety such as marigolds or a single flower color en masse is certainly an eye-catching attraction. While gardens with unique and harmonizing color combinations are delightful and charming.

Still not sure how to begin? Start with basic color theory and the standard color wheel and you’ll never make a mistake. An easy to use online color wheel tool is available at .

You may consider using popular flower color combinations such as red, white and blue. Planting these three colors together in a container, small flower garden, or even an expansive landscape is not only recognizable but also visually appealing.

Another garden design strategy, similar to interior design is to start with a favorite multi-colored flower and then select other flowering plants that complement it. For example, start with one of the specialty petunias such as one from the Crazytunia® series. Flower colors in Crazytunia® series range from a solid velvety black to ice pink with lime green edges. Endless inspiration!

Be fearless:

Plant bold and daring color combinations, you never know when you might stumble on the perfect color combination to paint your kitchen walls!

Important tips to keep the annuals in your garden healthy and freely flowering

Deadhead, early and often - Deadheading simple means removing the declining or dead flowers and any developing seeds. Annuals have one sole purpose and that is to ensure the next generation and they do this by flowering profusely, creating seeds and then dying. Once seeds begin to develop the energy in the plant is diverted from making more flowers to supporting the development of the seeds. Deadheading helps ensure that the plant’s energy is used to develop more buds and flowers. This will help keep your plant healthy and looking its best!

Fertilize - Most annuals are considered heavy feeders, meaning to perform their best they need to be fed with a fertilizer that is formulated for flowering. Check with experts in your local garden center for appropriate suggestions.

Weed control – Controlling weeds begins before planting with soil preparation and should continue throughout the growing season. Weeds compete with flowers for nutrients, water, and even sunlight.

Water management – Until the plants have acclimatized to their new environment, soil moisture needs to be checked daily and water applied when necessary. Even plants that are considered xeric or low water, will likely need supplemental watering until they are established. However, it is nearly as common for plants to die from too much water as insufficient water, so always check soil moisture before watering.

Pest control - Pests happen; insects, spiders, fungi, bacteria, viruses, rodents and rabbits. There are numerous pest control options available. However, the most appropriate solution will vary depending on your individual circumstances. If you are not sure what is ailing your garden or a specific plant in your garden, take a sample of the damaged plant to your local independent garden center and let the experts on staff identify the issue and make appropriate treatment suggestions.

Allison Gault