Planting Flowers 101


Garden nurseries can offer flowering plants in a large array of colors and at the time of year best suited for planting. You can choose between annuals that grow for one season or perennials that return each spring. Annual flowers are typically less expensive than perennial flowers and, in warmer climates, the self-seeding capability of some annuals may result in new sprouts the following spring. Perennial flowers can be divided after a few years in the ground to produce more plants to expand the garden. Planting flowers can add beauty and curb appeal to your home.

Step 1

Choose a well-drained location to plant flowers. Most flowers prefer well-drained soil so their roots are not subject to standing water as might be found in a ditch or at the bottom of hill.

Step 2

Evaluate the sun level of the planting location. Six or more hours of sunshine is considered full sun. Two to four hours of sun can be referred to as part shade or part sun, while less than two hours of sun is referred to as shade. The nursery label on the plant will indicate the sunlight requirements.

Step 3

Moisten the soil prior to planting. Watering the soil lightly the night before can make digging easier and will help to immediately hydrate the roots of the flowers.

Step 4

Dig a hole for the flower that matches the height of the flower container and is about twice as wide as the flower container. The additional width will loosen the soil for easier root penetration.

Step 5

Remove the flower from the container, squeezing or tapping the bottom of the container to help release the plant if needed.

Step 6

Place the plant in the center of the hole. Add or remove soil so the top of the soil of the plant is level to the ground around it. Gently push the soil down around the plant.

Step 7

Spread 1 to 2 inches of mulch, like pine bark chips, around the flower. Keep the mulch about 1 inch from the stem of the plant. Mulch will help retain moisture and may block weed growth.

Step 8

Water after planting and continue to water every seven to 10 days, spring to fall, if there is no rainfall.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel or hand spade
  • Flower plants
  • Mulch
  • Liquid all-purpose plant fertilizer (optional)


  • University of Illinois Extension: Site Assessment; Sunlight
  • University of Illinois Extension: Gardening with Annuals
  • University of Illinois Extension: Gardening with Perennials
Keywords: planting flowers, flower gardening, growing flowers

About this Author

Barbara Raskauskas is a certified e-learning specialist and certified Microsoft Office specialist. She has written web content, technical documents and course material for a decade. Raskauskas now writes how-to's, product reviews and general topics published on several websites, including Demand Studios.