Monthly Flower Care

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January

Plant seeds of alyssum, bachelor's button, California poppy, candytuft, dianthus, gysophila, larkspur, linaria, pansy, petunia, phlox, poppy, sweet pea, and verbena
Plant bulbs: agapanthus, amaryllis, crinum, freesia, hyacinth, gloriosa, ranunculus, etc

 

February

Start seeds indoors of ageratum, sweet alyssum, celosia, marigold, phlox, verbena, cosmos, dusty miller, petunia, impatiens, zinnias, scarlet sage
Sow seeds of California poppy, candytuft, China aster, dianthus, holly hock, nasturtium outdoors
Plant bulbs of agapanthus, amaryllis, calla, dahlia, freesia, gloriosa, lily, and gladiolas, plant a few gladiolus every ten days to extend the blooming period

 

March

Plant bulbs such as amaryllis, canna, caladium, gloriosa, lily, dahlia, and gladiolas
Plant bedding plants or seeds of ageratum, begonia, impatiens, marigold, petunia, pansy, sweet alyssum, celosia, coleus, nasturium, cosmos, gaillardia, phlox, and balsam; include a few plants that do well in the summer heat such as vinca, portulaca, zinnia, marigold, and some varieties of begonia; for color in the shade plant coleus, impatiens, wax begonias, caladium, and certain hostas
Provide bedding plants with enough room to develop, crowding plants may increase the possibility of disease problems because of poor air circulation
Make sure that the soil in your plant beds contain organic matter, if not add organic matter and mix well with existing soil
Fertilize amaryllis with bulb food to improve blooms
Fertilize annuals about every two weeks with a soluble fertilizer
Start monitoring roses for signs of fungus and insects

 

April

Warm season annuals can be planted now
For color in a shaded area, try caladiums, plant tubers about two inches deep and 15 inches apart in soil amended with organic matter
Plant bulbs such as canna, dahlia, daylily, gloriosa, lily, and lycoris, continue planting gladiolas every two weeks
When spring bulbs begin to bloom, fertilize with a bulb fertilizer
Divide chrysanthemums if necessary and pinch out the tips to encourage bushing, root the tips
Monitor daylilies for aphids, check between new leaves and use a soap spray if necessary
Add a few butterfly nectar plants to the garden, try marigolds, zinnias, firespike, gomphrena, salvias, and butterfly bush

 

May

Continue planting summer annuals, try a few that you have never grown before
Plant seeds of sweet alyssum, balsam, celosia, late cosmos, dahlia, failardia, globe amaranth, marigold, portulaca, salvia, sunflower and zinnia
Plant bulbs of caladium, lycoris (hurricane lily is yellow, spider lily is red), dahlia, gloriosa lily, gladiolas, and daylilies
Prune the faded flowers of climbing roses back to the first five-leaflets to stimulate repeat flowering
When canna blossoms fade, remove the flowering stalk just above the first set of leaves so a new flowering stalk will form
If conditions are hot and dry, monitor verbena for spider mites, wash off undersides of leaves with a soap spray every week or two
If your bulbs are overcrowded, you can remove bulbs when the leaves begin to fade, the bulbs should dry in the sun for a few days, and then remove all the faded leaves; they can be stored in a warm, dry spot until it is the time to plant them again
Divide crowded and vigorously growing perennials
Remove the flower stalks of coleus to encourage branching and the formation of more colorful leaves
Deadhead bedding plants to promote continued blooming
When the new growth of poinsettias is ten to twelve inches high, prune it back to the last four leaves
Keep roses watered and fertilize when there is a new flush of growth, if night temperatures are still cool, monitor for powdery mildew and wash off with water

 

June

Choose a few of the more heat tolerant plants for sunny spots in the landscape, consider globe amaranth, zinnia, melapodium, pentas, and ducksfoot coleus
Start seeds of late cosmos, protulaca, zinnia, sweet allysum, and vinca
Transplant chrysanthemums and pinch back to promote branching
Marigolds and geraniums will almost be finished blooming, they will bloom again when the weather becomes cooler; remove the dead flowers when they fade and fertilize with a soluble fertilizer
Feed all annuals with a balanced plant food
Remove faded leaves from caladiums to keep them looking fresh
Amaryllis, crinum, daylilies, Easter lilies, and other bulbs need to store energy to produce big blooms next year; use a bulb fertilizer such as 9-9-6; do not cut foliage from the plants until it dies completely
When the blooms fade on cannas, cut the flower stalks back to the uppermost lead, a new flower stalk will then form

 

July

Sow seeds of late cosmos, failardia, portulaca, and zinnia
Continue to monitor roses for fungus and spray with a fungicide when needed, fertilize with a rose fertilizer or with 1/2 cup of 8-8-8 per plant
Remove faded flowers of salvia and marigolds
Cut back zinnias, portulacas, and verbena that you planted several months ago
Continue to remove faded flower stalks of cannas so new flower stalks will sprout

 

August

Start seeds of butterfly weed, purple coneflower, and coreopsis indoors, these can be transplanted into the garden later in the fall
Cut back impatiens and salvias and fertilize to promote new, more colorful growth
Plant perennials such as ruellia, Philippine violet, firespike, and daylily
Direct sow seeds of late cosmos, lupine, candytuft, and nicotiana
Plant ajuga, amaryllis, Louisiana iris, ginger lily, and daylilies
Clean up perennial clumps by removing faded flowers and apply a light application of fertilizer
The Gulf Fritillary is beginning to lay eggs on passion vines, keep chemical sprays away from the plant so the butterflies can develop
This is the last month to pinch back mums and poinsettias to produce bushing; be careful not to disbud the plants, if you buy near mature mums for color, do not pinch back

 

September

Prepare flower beds for cool season annuals, remove any weeds and mix in organic matter
Start seed of calendula, larkspur, bachelor buttons, cleome, pansy, snapdragon, alyssum, daisies, candytuft, diantthus, petunias, verbena, and marigolds
Continue to monitor roses for insect and disease problems, such as rose chafers, thrips, and powdery mildew
Divide perennials such as daylily, Easter lily, Shasta daisy, canna, violet, coneflower, amaryllis, mondo grass, and liriope
Rejuvenate summer bedding plants by judiciously pruning the softwood, be careful not to cut into the hardwood, keep the plants well watered and fertilize with a liquid 20-20-20 or 1/3 cup of 6-6-6 per 25 square feet of planted area
Order your spring flowering bulbs now and then refrigerate for 6 weeks before planting, place in a paper bag and store in the crisper, but not with fruit

 

October

Continue to divide perennials
Set out chrysanthemums, calendulas, dianthus, snapdragon, petunias, and pansies, wait until next month to plant ornamental cabbage or kale or they will bolt
Plant seeds of candytuft, coneflower, pansy, larkspur, sweet peas, Sweet William, phlox, dianthus, snapdragon, bachelor buttons, delphinium, foxglove, poppies, and sweet alyssum, seeds of larkspur should be chilled in the refrigerator for a week before planting
Refrigerate tulip and hyacinth to be planted in 6-8 weeks
Carefully watch young annuals and water when necessary, when plants have at least three pairs of leaves, pinch back to produce lateral branches
Prepare beds for anemone, Dutch iris, hyacinth, and early flowering narcissus bulbs about two weeks before planting, mix organic matter into the soil and superphosphate at the rate of 5 lbs. per 1000 sq. feet

 

November

Continue planting seeds of sweet peas, California poppy, petunias, dianthus, Bachelor buttons, and sweet alyssum
Plant pansies, snapdragons, and calendulas, set out ornamental cabbage and kale
After chrysanthemums finish blooming, prune back to 3 inches above the ground
Plant daffodils, narcissus, lilies, anemone, and other bulbs at weekly intervals for a succession of blooms, these plants have been pre-chilled, refrigerate tulip and hyacinth for later planting
Blooming cactus are short day plants which start flowering when days get shorter, keep them away from artificial light sources such as street or porch lights at night, wait until buds appear to water, use a liquid fertilizer (15-30-15) every two weeks during blooming

 

December

Plant bulbs of amaryllis, crinum, Dutch iris, lilies, tulip and hyacinth, make sure that bulbs such as tulip and hyacinth have been pre-chilled for six weeks
Plant bulbs in well drained soil, in a sunny to lightly shaded site, tulips, anemones, ranunculuses, and hyacinths should be treated as annuals and removed after they bloom in the spring
Remember Poinsettia's are poisonous to pets