Now that the last heat spells have passed, it’s time to replant your favorite containers with vigorous flowers that bloom in cool weather.
The list of possibilities grows longer every season, with familiar pansies, alyssum, dianthus and dusty miller often mingling with dainty nemesia, trailing diascia or beautiful blue lobelia.
Containers planted with one type of flower will look stunning, but it’s fun to experiment with combinations of color and texture in simple container bouquets. Use your cart as a staging area to consider pairings like blue pansies with white sweet alyssum, or peachy nemesia with blue lobelia.
Switch out Containers with Fresh Annuals:
- Select bedding plants that are showing their first blossoms so you can choose the exact colors you want. Once you bring them home, keep them in a shady place until you’re ready to plant and water them as often as needed to keep the soil lightly moist.
- Renovate used containers by pulling out old plants and composting them. In small containers, replace all soil. In large containers, use a trowel to scoop out the top 4 inches of soil, which is the easiest way to remove excess accumulated salts. Either discard the salty potting soil or sprinkle it lightly over outdoor beds.
- Add fresh potting mix to within 1 inch of the rim in new or old containers.
- Push on the bottoms of seedling containers to free the plants, and arrange them at equal spacing in the containers. As you transplant the seedlings, tease out roots that have grown into a tight spiral. Press plants into place, adding more potting soil to cover any exposed roots.
- Position planted containers where you want them before giving them a thorough drenching with water. Water as often as needed to keep the soil lightly moist. To support strong blooming, feed your flowers every three weeks with a water-soluble plant food.
Tip: Select one easygoing flower such as blue or yellow pansies, and include it in multiple containers to create a harmonious outdoor scene.