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Annuals and tropicals can shine as some of the brightest plants in your garden! These starts stick around for only one season, but they make great cover or bed plants, and allow you to change up the look of your garden each year. They're also very easy to plant and care for.

Because so many species of annuals exist, you should follow the directions included with your plants to determine watering and sunlight needs.

Planting - Most annuals are shipped to you as potted plants. When you receive your potted plants, you may find some of the leaves appear to be yellowing, but this doesn't reflect the actual health of the plant. As long as the root system is healthy, upper foliage will soon regenerate. Your potted plants require little attention before transplanting:

  • Check to make sure the planting medium is still moist and water if the top is dry. Groom the plant by pinching off any less-than-healthy leaves (for example, leaves that are yellowed or withered).
  • Transplant potted plants to their new home as soon as possible after your shipment arrives.
  • Remove plants from their shipping pots by lightly squeezing or tapping the sides of the container to loosen the planting medium in which the plant has been growing. Then, invert the pot, gently shake the plant loose and proceed with planting. Plants which seem to be tightly bound to their pots may be "root bound." However, they are easy to remove and prepare for planting:
    • First, squeeze the container to loosen the compacted root ball inside.
    • Invert the pot and shake the plant out of the container.
    • If you find a mass of roots tightly woven into the planting medium, cut or tear off the bottom third of the root ball. Then, using a knife or trowel, score a vertical mark on all four sides of the root ball. Even though you will be cutting some of the roots by scoring, loose ends will have a tendency to grow outward into the surrounding soil, while unscored roots will continue to grow in the root ball itself after planting and may cause decreased vigor.

Annuals range in size from under one foot to eight feet, and come in multiple shapes, textures, and every color of the rainbow! These plants make great fillers when your perennials are out of bloom, and most will bloom for their entire growing season if given proper sunlight and soil.

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