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What are the Best Tips for Planting Flowers?

By M.R. Anglin
Updated May 17, 2024
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A flower garden can be a beautiful addition to a yard or other landscape. In order to help plants reach their full potential, it's important to keep certain tips in mind. Gardeners should choose the right plant for their climate, which can help keep flowers from wilting in the heat or freezing in the cold. It is also important to make sure the soil is the appropriate pH and has the appropriate nutritional balance before you start planting flowers. In addition, flowers should be planted in an appropriately sunny or shady spot and at the appropriate time of the year.

When planting flowers, it is important to properly plan. The best time to plant most flowers is often on a cool, cloudy spring day, but bulbs like to be planted several weeks before the ground freezes. Before the plants go into the ground, gardeners should develop a strategy. Start by determining which flowers to plant and where they will go. Mixing in height, color, and blooming times will help to keep a garden looking interesting.

Choosing the right flowers for the climate is vital for planting flowers successfully. The United States Department of Agriculture developed the USDA hardiness map. This map separates the US, Mexico, and Canada into 11 zones, divided by average temperatures in various areas. Some plants are suited for just one or two zones, while others may be grown in several different zones. For example, an aster is best suited to zones 3-8, which includes areas such as Gainesville, Florida. and St. Michael, Alaska. Gardeners in areas not included in the USDA hardiness map will want to pay attention to their flowers' needs and choose flowers that match their climate's conditions.

Once the appropriate flowers are chosen, it's good to make a map of the area where they will be planted. On this map, the gardener can determine which flowers should go where. Considerations when planting flowers should include whether the flowers in question like shady areas or full sun. In addition, it may also be beneficial to arrange flowers depending on bloom time. Interspersing flowers with different bloom times can help to keep a garden looking interesting year round.

Before planting flowers, the soil’s condition should also be taken care of. Testing soil to determine if it is too acidic or too alkaline is important. If the soil is too acidic, consider adding alkaline supplements with enough time in order to allow the supplement to work. If it is too alkaline, an acidic supplement can often bring it back into balance. It may also be helpful to break up the soil with a spade just before planting and to fertilize or add compost if necessary.

When the time comes to plant the flowers, proper planting techniques may be key. First, dig a hole for the flower that is as deep as the root ball is high, but twice as wide. After digging a hole, loosen the plant's root ball, put the flower into the hole, cover the roots with soil and water. Mulch may be used to keep weeds at bay and to help retain moisture. If the plant was potted in peat moss, the hole should be just a bit deeper than the root ball height. Bulbs may need a hole that is about 2 to 5 inches (about 5 to 13 centimeters) deep, depending on the type.

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Discussion Comments
By Mor — On Feb 15, 2015

@croydon - Just be aware that planting wildflowers will often make it very difficult to get rid of them permanently as they will probably be self-seeding.

That might not matter to everyone, and it might even be a plus in some cases, but if you have particular plans for part of your garden, it's not going to be ideal to have to continually pull out wildflowers when they start growing better than the plants you want to have there.

Plant seeds carefully, with a mind to how they are intended to propagate themselves and perform in the future.

By croydon — On Feb 15, 2015

@umbra21 - A seed mix, whether it's of wildflowers or something else, can be a really good way to cover up an empty flower-bed if you don't have anything else to put in it. It's not a good idea to leave an area of soil bare for too long, especially if you live in a region with harsh weather (although this might not be as important anywhere that it snows, since snow itself will act as a cover in that case).

By umbra21 — On Feb 14, 2015

Planting flowers doesn't have to be methodical. If you don't want to spend a lot of time on it, or you just like the idea of a garden that doesn't look like it has been planned too carefully, I would go with a wildflower garden.

Most garden centers will have a wild-flower seed mix that suits the area you live in, and it's just a matter of preparing a bed for them and sprinkling the seeds on top (or at least, following the instructions on the packet, as different mixes might have different instructions).

You can even just sprinkle the seeds in among your lawn, but in that case you might have to mow less regularly to give them a chance to bloom.

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