Spring-flowering annuals, which include Iceland poppy, polyanthus, pansy, viola, sweet peas and more, are planted as seed in autumn or seedlings in winter when many begin to flower. With the arrival of spring, seasonal annuals are available in small pots at garden centres and hardware stores to add instant colour to gardens either planted out into beds or popped into containers.
To grow annuals from seed, start them off in punnets or seed trays using seed raising mix such as Seasol Seed Raising & Cutting Potting Mix. Remember to water them in with Seasol to help with germination rates. Once the seedlings are large enough to handle, they can be pricked out and grown in larger containers or planted into prepared areas in the garden. When planting in a pot use a good quality potting mix such as Seasol Advanced Potting Mix, It has everything in the bag to aid plant establishment. If planting into the ground mix Seasol Super Compost into the soil before planting to revitialise the soil and help promote healthy plant growth.
Use annuals to create splashes of colour and interest in gardens or on balconies. As they come in many shapes, sizes and colours they can be used as decorative highlights for example in an entertaining area or beside the front door, or to accent a colour theme. Some, such as poppies and sweet peas are also grown as cut flowers.
Aspect Most annuals need a sheltered but sunny location with full sun for most of the day. If they are grown with too much shade, they may fail to flower or become leggy in their growth. In shaded spots look for shade lovers such as primula and cineraria.
Soil Annuals grow in a wide range of soils but do best in soil enriched with organic matter such as compost before planting or for a no-dig option use Seasol Liquid Compost. Annuals also need good drainage.
Climate There are spring-flowering annuals to grow in all climates. In tropical, subtropical and frost-free zones traditional spring-flowering annuals such as those listed above flower, well through winter. Summer annuals such as petunia, calibrachoa, marigolds and impatiens will flower and grow well in spring, which marks the end of the dry season in many of these areas.