Planting flowers in an outdoor space provides an instant way to add color, texture and interest. Flowers can be started from bulbs or seeds or can be transplanted from containers. In most regions and climates, flowers are planted in the spring when soil temperatures are warm and stable, but they may be planted as late as fall for late-season color.
Flowers are either annuals or perennials. Annual flowers are planted for one growing season, while perennial flowers return each growing season after planting.
Each flower or flower bulb has specific planting depth directions. But, in general, the planting depth for bulbs is twice as deep as the height of the bulb. Therefore, large bulbs such as daffodils should be planted 8 inches deep and smaller bulbs at 3 to 4 inches. Other perennial and annual plants should be planted at the same depth that they were grown in containers.
Much like the planting depth, each type of flower has different sun and soil requirements that should be clearly indicated on the container. Some flowers will need full sun to grow, while others can thrive in shade or partial shade. It is best to carefully evaluate your landscape before planting flowers in the ground or transferring them to a new container to ensure the proper light requirements will be met.
Flowers should be watered thoroughly after planting. This will help the soil to settle and it give the roots an opportunity to become established. Beyond the initial watering, follow the specific watering requirements for your plant, which may be as frequently as daily. Perennial plants that have been grown in a container should be watered before planting, giving the plant an opportunity to rehydrate.
It will sometimes be necessary to amend soil to ensure that it contains the nutrients a plant needs to grow properly. Some plants require soil that is rich in phosphorus, nitrogen or some other element, while others can grow under any soil conditions. If the current condition of your soil is unknown, it is advisable to take a sample to your local extension service for analysis. Multiple samples may be needed to assess different areas of a landscape.