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Annuals2022-07-20T20:49:43+00:00

SEASONAL BLOOMS

Annuals

What is an annual? Annuals are plants that complete their life cycle in less than one year.

What is the difference between an annual and perennial, you may ask? Perennials are plants that have a continuous life cycle and can live for many years in your garden.

Most annuals are planted in the spring and flower profusely all summer long while the weather is warm and die when the frosts arrive in the fall. The most popular spring annuals are plants like Petunias and Geraniums.

Others are great for the cooler weather we get in Surrey and Vancouver during the fall, such as fall mums. There are even annuals that live and flower during the winter months, like Pansies and Primulas.

Whatever time of year, there are annuals that can add colour and life to your garden. Here on the west coast, bedding plant season extends from March to September.

At Hunters Garden Centre we carry an extensive selection from Ageratum to Zinnias and everything in between!

outdoor annuals 1

Best Annuals for Spring Gardening

These Spring-blooming annuals thrive in the springtime and may take a break from blooming when the summer heat approaches.

annuals dianthus

Dianthus

Dianthus annuals are great for your spring garden as they do well in cool temperatures and provide a range of colour. These annuals also have a lovely fragrance!

annuals geranium

Geraniums

Geraniums are extremely popular, versatile annuals that look great as bedding, in a hanging basket or potted arrangement. They have a wide range of bright colours, blooms and shapes.

annuals pansies

Pansies

Pansies are colourful annuals with overlapping petals and a wide range of patterns and colours that mix well with other flowers.

annuals primulas

Primula

Primulas are one of the first annuals to make their way into our gardens in the early months of the year. These are hardy and colourful plants with clusters of bright, rich flowers.

annuals cyclamen

Cyclamen

Cyclamen are a hardy annual that can be planted year-round out here on the west coast. Their bright blooms come in shades of pink, red, purple and white.

annuals ranunculus

Ranunculus

Ranunculus, also known as the rose of the spring, are cool season annuals with flowers that come in shades of red, orange, pink and yellow. Their thin petal blossoms resemble that of a rose.

Best Annuals for Summer Gardening

These Summer-blooming annuals will do well during hot temperatures and flower throughout the summertime.

annuals geranium

Geranium

Geraniums are extremely popular, versatile annuals that look great as bedding, in a hanging basket or potted arrangement. They have a wide range of bright colours, blooms and shapes.

annuals petunias

Petunia

Petunias are one of the most popular annuals for bedding and containers. These prolific bloomers have trumpet-shaped flowers and come in almost every colour in the rainbow!

annuals snap dragon

Snap Dragon

Snap Dragons get their name from the flowers that look like a dragon’s snout which open and close for pollinators. Their flowers are bright and highly saturated.

annuals begonia

Begonias

Begonias are a gardeners’ favourite due to their pretty blooms, patterned foliage and hardy nature. Another great addition to hanging baskets and containers.

annuals cosmos

Cosmos

Cosmos make the perfect summer annual as they continue to flower throughout the fall. Similar to daisies, cosmos have a range of colour and patterns.

annuals dahlia

Dahlias

Dahlias are tall annuals that bloom from mid-summer until the first frost. Dahlias boast lollipop-style flowers that come in a range of sizes and colours.

annuals impatiens

Impatiens

Impatiens are a popular choice for shady areas as they make an excellent bedding addition to your summer garden or container plants and hanging baskets. Impatiens can attract birds too!

annuals marigold

Marigold

Marigolds are a reliable annual for bedding flowers as they are fast-growing plants that bloom continuously. Low-maintenance, Marigolds brighten your garden with warm-coloured flowers.

annuals zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnias are a great choice for new gardeners as these are easy annuals to grow. Resembling a sunflower, Zinnias bloom all summer long, providing bursts of colour.

Best Annuals for Fall Gardening

As the seasons change, these flowering annuals do well in cooler weather. They look great in gardens and festive arrangements.

annuals chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemums

One of the most popular fall annuals, Mums are known to add festive seasonal shades of yellow, orange and red to any garden!

annuals cyclamen

Cyclamen

Cyclamen are a hardy annual that can be planted year-round out here on the west coast. Their bright blooms come in shades of pink, red, purple and white.

annuals ornamental peppers

Ornamental Peppers

Although their bright colours are appealing, ornamental peppers are only to be looked at! These festive fruits come in a variety of colours including red, yellow, orange and purple.

annuals purple fountain grass

Purple Fountain Grass

Grasses make a great addition to your garden as they provide texture, depth, and shelter for animals.

annuals pansies

Pansies

Pansies are colourful annuals with overlapping petals and a wide range of patterns and colours that mix well with other flowers. These do well in cool weather as well.

annuals ornamental cabbage

Ornamental Cabbage & Kale

Ornamental cabbage and kale are very similar to the edible versions, yet look more like large flowers as their leaves form rosettes. Colours include purple, rose and creamy white shades.

Best Annuals for Sun

These annuals can take the heat! Here are the 6 best annuals for full sun that will thrive with a full 8 hours of sunshine.

annuals petunias

Petunia

Petunias are one of the most popular annuals for bedding and containers. These prolific bloomers have trumpet-shaped flowers and come in almost every colour in the rainbow!

annuals geranium

Geranium

Geraniums are extremely popular, versatile annuals that look great as bedding, in a hanging basket or potted arrangement. They have a wide range of bright colours, blooms and shapes.

annuals marigold

Marigold

Marigolds are a reliable annual for bedding flowers as they are fast-growing plants that bloom continuously. Low-maintenance, Marigolds brighten your garden with warm-coloured flowers.

annuals snap dragon

Snap Dragon

Snap Dragons get their name from the flowers that look like a dragon’s snout which open and close for pollinators. Their flowers are bright and highly saturated

annuals cosmos

Cosmo

Cosmos make the perfect sunny summer annual as they continue to flower throughout the fall. Similar to daisies, cosmos have a range of colour and patterns.

annuals zinnia

Zinnia

Zinnias are a great choice for new gardeners as these are easy annuals to grow. Resembling a sunflower, Zinnias bloom all summer long, providing bursts of colour.

Best Annuals for Shade

These shade-loving annuals will do well in that difficult shady spot in your garden. These annuals will flower all summer long even without full sunlight.

annuals impatiens

Impatiens

Impatiens are a popular choice for shady areas as they make an excellent bedding addition to your summer garden or container plants and hanging baskets. Impatiens can attract birds too!

annuals lobelia

Lobelia

True blue flowers for a cool, shady area. Lobelias are a summer annual that will work great in shade gardens or container pots.

annuals begonia

Begonia

Begonias are a gardeners’ favourite due to their pretty blooms, patterned foliage and hardy nature. Another great addition to hanging baskets and containers.

annuals coleus

Coleus

Coleus feature beautiful, bold foliage in shades of green that sometimes bloom with tiny white or blue flowers.

annuals fuchsia

Fuchsia

Fuchsias have pendant-shaped flowers that resemble bells and bloom from the beginning of summer until the first frost. They work great for vertical growth in small spaces.

annuals torenia

Torenia

Also known as Wishbone flowers, Torenia is a compact annual with trumpet-shaped flowers that bring colour and life to shady gardens all summer long.

Caring For Annual Hanging Baskets

Hanging baskets require a little bit of care during the growing season. You will need to provide enough water and fertilizer to ensure that it grows well and remove dead flowers to encourage more blooms. You should also monitor for insects and other diseases.

Watering

The most important thing to remember is to water the basket on a regular basis. Hanging baskets require more water than other plants in containers. This is because all sides of the basket are exposed. During hot dry spells they require water every day, sometimes twice a day. A general rule is to water the basket when the top inch of soil has become dry. Continue adding water until it is pouring out the bottom of the basket. There should be good drainage in the bottom of the basket to ensure that the roots do not drown.

Fertilizing

Plants get most of their nutrients from the soil through their roots. Watering can wash the nutrients away. In general hanging baskets benefit from frequent feeding. It is best to use a slow release fertilizer that breaks down over a period of time rather than releasing all at once. We recommend SmartCote™ 14-14-14 Hanging Basket fertilizer. One application breaks down over a 6 month period so one application lasts the entire summer.

Removing Dead Flowers

You should remove dead flowers from the plants to encourage more flowers. If dead flowers are left on the plants they consume energy by developing seeds instead of making more flowers. Removing the dead flowers encourages the plant to produce more flowers.

Pests and Insects

You may experience problems with pest or insects. The insects and pests you might have the most trouble with are those that fly or those that drop from trees overhead. A healthy, well-watered, well-fed basket is less likely to have insect or pest problems. If you notice and pests or diseases on your hanging basket, bring a piece of the plant in a sealed bag to one of our qualified staff and we would be happy to have a look and determine if there is a solution.

leaf test 2

Caring For Annual Hanging Baskets

Hanging baskets require a little bit of care during the growing season. You will need to provide enough water and fertilizer to ensure that it grows well and remove dead flowers to encourage more blooms. You should also monitor for insects and other diseases.

Watering

The most important thing to remember is to water the basket on a regular basis. Hanging baskets require more water than other plants in containers. This is because all sides of the basket are exposed. During hot dry spells they require water every day, sometimes twice a day. A general rule is to water the basket when the top inch of soil has become dry. Continue adding water until it is pouring out the bottom of the basket. There should be good drainage in the bottom of the basket to ensure that the roots do not drown.

Fertilizing

Plants get most of their nutrients from the soil through their roots. Watering can wash the nutrients away. In general hanging baskets benefit from frequent feeding. It is best to use a slow release fertilizer that breaks down over a period of time rather than releasing all at once. We recommend SmartCote™ 14-14-14 Hanging Basket fertilizer. One application breaks down over a 6 month period so one application lasts the entire summer.

Removing Dead Flowers

You should remove dead flowers from the plants to encourage more flowers. If dead flowers are left on the plants they consume energy by developing seeds instead of making more flowers. Removing the dead flowers encourages the plant to produce more flowers.

Pests and Insects

You may experience problems with pest or insects. The insects and pests you might have the most trouble with are those that fly or those that drop from trees overhead. A healthy, well-watered, well-fed basket is less likely to have insect or pest problems. If you notice and pests or diseases on your hanging basket, bring a piece of the plant in a sealed bag to one of our qualified staff and we would be happy to have a look and determine if there is a solution.

leaf test 2

DIY

How To Make Annual Hanging Baskets

Making a Hanging Basket

The first decision you need to make is whether your basket will be in a sunny or shady location. Then choose the plants that you want to put in your basket. Here are some plants we suggest for your basket:

Sun Baskets:

  • Anagallis
  • Bacopa
  • Bidens
  • Brachycome
  • Calibrachoa
  • Cuphea
  • Geraniums
  • Heliotrope
  • Lobelia
  • Lotus Vine
  • Petunia
  • Trailing Snapdragon
  • Supertunia
  • Thunbergia
  • Verbena

Shade Baskets:

  • Asparagus Fern
  • Fibrous Begonias
  • Tuberous Begonias
  • Calceolaria
  • Coleus
  • Fuschia
  • Impatiens
  • Lamium
  • Lobelia
  • Lysimachia (Creeping Jenny)
  • Mimulus
  • Torenia
  • Tradescantia

With these plants in mind don’t forget to have a little fun, experiment with different plants and different combinations. You never know when you will come up with a winner.

Choosing the Right Soil and Fertilizer

There are many soils that you can use for hanging baskets. We recommend Keefers Hanging Basket Mix or our own David Hunters Potting Soil. This is a mix of Peat Moss, Perlite, and a starter fertilizer. We also recommend adding a slow release fertilizer like SmartCote™ 14-14-14 into the soil before planting. One application at planting time will last the entire season.

You are Ready to Plant

Now you can plant your basket. For plastic hanging baskets fill the main part of the pot with soil and place plants in the top of the basket. Plant the taller growing plants in the middle and trailing plants around the edges. For baskets with holes in the sides or Moss baskets you can plant trailing plants along the side of the basket. You can plant two or three separate layers, with four to six plants per layer. Once the sides of the basket are complete, plant the taller growing plants in the top. After you finish planting be sure to give your basket a thorough watering.

DOWNLOAD HANGING BASKET BROCHURE
leaf test 2

DIY

How To Make Annual Hanging Baskets

Making a Hanging Basket

The first decision you need to make is whether your basket will be in a sunny or shady location. Then choose the plants that you want to put in your basket. Here are some plants we suggest for your basket:

Sun Baskets:

  • Anagallis
  • Bacopa
  • Bidens
  • Brachycome
  • Calibrachoa
  • Cuphea
  • Geraniums
  • Heliotrope
  • Lobelia
  • Lotus Vine
  • Petunia
  • Trailing Snapdragon
  • Supertunia
  • Thunbergia
  • Verbena

Shade Baskets:

  • Asparagus Fern
  • Fibrous Begonias
  • Tuberous Begonias
  • Calceolaria
  • Coleus
  • Fuschia
  • Impatiens
  • Lamium
  • Lobelia
  • Lysimachia (Creeping Jenny)
  • Mimulus
  • Torenia
  • Tradescantia

With these plants in mind don’t forget to have a little fun, experiment with different plants and different combinations. You never know when you will come up with a winner.

Choosing the Right Soil and Fertilizer

There are many soils that you can use for hanging baskets. We recommend Keefers Hanging Basket Mix or our own David Hunters Potting Soil. This is a mix of Peat Moss, Perlite, and a starter fertilizer. We also recommend adding a slow release fertilizer like SmartCote™ 14-14-14 into the soil before planting. One application at planting time will last the entire season.

You are Ready to Plant

Now you can plant your basket. For plastic hanging baskets fill the main part of the pot with soil and place plants in the top of the basket. Plant the taller growing plants in the middle and trailing plants around the edges. For baskets with holes in the sides or Moss baskets you can plant trailing plants along the side of the basket. You can plant two or three separate layers, with four to six plants per layer. Once the sides of the basket are complete, plant the taller growing plants in the top. After you finish planting be sure to give your basket a thorough watering.

DOWNLOAD HANGING BASKET BROCHURE
leaf test 2

FAQs

How do I care for Fuschias?2022-04-04T21:06:56+00:00

Fuchsias are quite easy to grow. In baskets or planters they provide colour in sheltered areas from May until October.

Watering is critical for fuchsias. In early cool weather, plants may not need watering for a week or more at a time. Heavy watering of small plants during cool weather will result in root rot, this can happen quite rapidly and can easily kill your plants. In warmer weather, however, larger baskets may need watering one or more times a day. Check the soil daily and water after the top inch of the soil is dry.

Fertilization is very important for good flower production. We recommend the application of a good quality liquid fertilizer once every two weeks when plants are young and once a week for mature plants.

Exposure for fuchsias is IMPORTANT. Most varieties need protection from afternoon sun from 12 – 6 pm; morning sun is ideal, also avoid placing your fuchsias in a windy exposure. Before putting your fuchsias out make sure that all danger of frost has past.

Click here for more information and to download the full Fuschia care guide.

How do I care for Annual Hanging Baskets?2022-04-04T21:04:31+00:00

Hanging baskets require a little bit of care during the growing season. You will need to provide enough water and fertilizer to ensure that it grows well and remove dead flowers to encourage more blooms. You should also monitor for insects and other diseases.

The most important thing to remember is to water the basket on a regular basis. Hanging baskets require more water than other plants in containers. This is because all sides of the basket are exposed. During hot dry spells they require water every day, sometimes twice a day. A general rule is to water the basket when the top inch of soil has become dry.

You should remove dead flowers from the plants to encourage more flowers. Removing the dead flowers encourages the plant to produce more flowers.

Click here for more information and to download the full Making & Caring For Hanging Baskets Information Brochure.

What is the difference between an Annual and a Perennial?2022-04-04T19:15:25+00:00

One of the most common questions from novice gardeners is the difference between an annual and a perennial.

An annual completes their life cycle in less than one year and the roots die in the winter. 

Perennials are plants that have a continuous life cycle and live for more than two years, and often many years. As the seasons change, the above ground growth dies down in the fall and new growth comes from the perennial root each spring.

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