NOTE: THIS IS A REPRINT OF AN ARTICLE ON MY PREVIOUS BLOG AS I REBUILD THIS INFO HERE.
Annuals are the plants that keep us busiest in our gardens. Many gardeners raise their own seeds, plant them out, watch them flower and then dig them out only to begin the cycle again for the next season.
We’re 3 days into summer here in WA and as I view many gardens it’s amazing how many of them are struggling with a few hot days. How do you keep your annuals healthy and what signs do they show that they’re struggling? Read on….

  • Self-seeding Density – if many of your self-sown seeds are struggling for room they will display this sign by stunted growth and poor flower numbers. Overcrowding is common especially with plants like Salvia, Cosmos and Gaillardias. To remedy this situation, try and remove some of the seedlings as they appear leaving the strongest, healthier ones to thrive.
  • Deadheading – to improve the number of flowers growing on your annuals, try removing the dead heads. Annuals will pour nutrient and water resources into seed production at the expense of flowering so the only way to keep these flowering is to remove spent flowers.
  • ‘Leggy’ Plants – some plants tend to become ‘leggy’ as they grow (they lose all their lower leaves and only display their stems). This is common with Chrysanthemums and can be fixed by pinching back lateral stems so that the bush remains compact.
  • Fertilising – annuals are best fertilised with a liquid fertiliser every 4 weeks during their growing season. If you fertilise at a rate less than this you should expect to see less flowers and unhealthy plants.