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Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area


Guide To Spring Annuals For Northern Gardens

Lynn Coulter
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Proven Winners Superbells Grape Punch

Plant spring annuals for a rainbow of color in your Northern garden. Violet-blue petunias, gold Gerbera daisies, and pink calibrachoas are great choices for dressing up beds and borders or filling containers and hanging baskets. Try our tips for starting your garden, and look for some of the beautiful choices we’re spotlighting here.

  • When the soil can be worked, plant cold tolerant plants such as hardened-off pansies, dianthus, stock, sweet alyssum, and sweet peas.
  • After the weather is reliably warm, and all danger of frost has passed, plant tender annuals, such as petunias, zinnias, and begonias.
  • To help your soil warm up faster in the spring, rake away the mulch, or put down black plastic and cut holes in it for plants. Rake the mulch back as the weather warms, to retain moisture and control weeds.
  •  If you’re concerned about having enough sun, plant near a south or west-facing wall to reflect light and heat. If the area gets too hot later in the season, you may need to move your plants.
  • Watch for snails and slugs that dine on young plants during cool, wet weather.

Please note: Home Depot plants are selected for different geographical regions and climates to give you the best growing experience. Selections and arrival dates will vary by store.

From Vigoro:

  • New Guinea impatiens – These shade-loving, easy to grow annuals produce beautiful, vibrant flowers.

Gerbera daisy

  • Gerbera daisies – You’ll find Gerberas in a variety of cheerful colors, including yellow, red, salmon, orange, pink, and white. They prefer full sun to part shade.

From VIVA!

  • Sunpatiens – Looking for impatiens that can take heat and sun? These super-performers are a cross between traditional New Guinea impatiens and wild impatiens, reaching 18-30″ tall. Give them plenty of water and they’re easy to grow.

Floragem LLC/Rhythm & Blues petunias

  • Rhythm and Blues Petunias – Jazz up your garden with these striking blue and white blossoms. They’re more heat tolerant than most petunias (and cold tolerant, too, flowering until frost). Give them lots of water and full sun and the plants will reach 12″ high.

Floragem LLC/Ragtime Petunias

  • Ragtime Petunias – New for 2013, Ragtime features flashy magenta blooms bordered in snowy white.
  • Rococo New Guinea Impatiens – Ruffled blooms make this shade-lover a standout. Give it moist soil with good drainage.
  • Scentsational Lavender – This lavender hybrid with silvery leaves performs in hot or humid climates where traditional lavenders falter. It’s rich in essential oils, so you can enjoy its fragrance in your garden or dried bouquets.

From Proven Winners:

  • Angelonia Angelface – These “summer snapdragons” are borne on 18-24″ stems that last for 10 days or more in bouquets. They like full sun and tolerate heat and drought. Look for them in blue, white, pink, and violet. 
  •  Calibrachoa – You might mistake these for baby petunias. Calibrachoas are heat tolerant and disease resistant. Feed them monthly and water when the top of the soil feels dry. They’ll cascade beautifully from baskets or spread in your garden. Hummingbirds love them!

Proven Winners Superbells Lemon Slice calibrachoas

Superbells Lemon Slice blooms are pinwheels of lemon white and snowy white.

Proven Winners Superbells Pomegranate Punch calibrachoas

Calibrachoa Superbells Pomegranate Punch is new for 2013; its deep rose-red blooms have unique, black-red eyes.

Proven Winners Superbells Strawberry Punch

Calibrachoa Superbells Strawberry Punch has rich pink petals and striking dark strawberry centers.

  • Petunia Supertunia Vista Bubblegum – Grows tall and spreads 2-3′ in your garden; it’s Proven Winner’s #2 top-rated plant with gardeners. Use it for a pop of bright pink.

Proven Winners Supertunias Raspberry Blast and White, Verbena Superbena Purple

  • Petunia Supertunia Raspberry Blast – A breakthrough bi-colored petunia with pink blooms edged in a deep cerise-violet. Heat tolerant, it’s a favorite of butterflies and hummingbirds.

Images: Proven Winners Superbells Grape Punch; Vigoro Gerbera Daisy; Floragem LLC Rhythm and Blues; Floragem LLC Ragtime Petunia; Proven Winners Superbells Lemon Slice; Proven Winners Superbell Pomegranate Punch; Proven Winners Strawberry Punch; Proven Winners Supertunias Raspberry Blast and White and Verbena Superbena Purple.

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