Have some of the annuals in your mixed pots or boxes stopped flowering? This isn’t unusual because some of the annuals that are so perfect for spring planting don’t bloom as well once the temperatures rise. This doesn’t mean that they’re bad plants…it just means that our mid-summer weekend project should be evaluating our container plantings and refreshing them as needed. Here’s an example, beginning with how my urns looked in May.
Here’s how this container looked in late May. I chose these annuals because they are all cold-tolerant so I knew I could plant them early and not be afraid of frost or cold damage. I used Frosty Knight Lobularia, Blue Bird Nemesia, Lemon Slice Calibrachoa, and in the center, a Soprano Purple Osteospermum…all from Proven Winners.
Here is how this same urn looks today, on July 24th. The Lemon Slice and Frosty Knight are going strong. There are a few flowers on the Blue Bird Nemesia, and if I cut them back now they should come back with renewed flowering soon. But the Osteospermum? It’s really done. Osteospermum is a cool-weather annual, kind of like pansies; they are great early in the season but in July you should thank them for coming and plant something else. You can see the tall, lanky, Osteospermum foliage in the center of the pot. Since this isn’t bringing anything to the party, it’s time to replace that center plant.
Dig around the annual that you need to remove using a trowel. Remove a plug of roots that is about the size of the root ball that you’re going to replace it with. By not removing too much beyond just what you need to create the space for the new plant, you won’t disturb the other plants too much.
After the plant is out hollow out the hole to make a space that’s about the size of the root ball for the plant you’re installing. If you’re using time-release fertilizer put some in this hole before placing the new plant inside.
Put the new plant in place making sure that any spaces are filled with soil. But don’t pack it down or push the plant in too hard! Air spaces are important for all the plants here.
Done! The Fuchsia ‘Firecracker’ that I chose adds an upright element and a dash of color that compliments and contrasts with the other flowers in this urn. Be sure to water your container really well after you put any new plants in place. If you haven’t used a time-release fertilizer use a liquid product according to directions after your container has been well watered.