How to Care for Flowers


Whether you have flowers in just a few beds and borders or the flower garden is the main element in your landscaping, proper care makes your garden look its best regardless of the season. Perennial flowers in particular need to be maintained every year so they will grow back and bloom to their fullest the next year. Many annuals will prolong their blooming period and give you your full money's worth with minimal upkeep. From before the first blooms appear in spring to after the fall frost comes, taking care of your flowers properly improves the look of your garden and extends the life of your bedding plants.

Step 1

Follow soil recommendations for each flower variety---most require well-draining soil. Improve drainage by raising the beds 2 to 4 inches. Add in compost until the bed reaches the required height and drains well.

Step 2

Water deeply at least once per week or as detailed for the flower. Provide 1 inch of water weekly for most varieties. Keep the soil moist but not soaking wet.

Step 3

Weed regularly, or at least until the plants become established. Avoid disturbing roots when digging out weeds.

Step 4

Apply a 2-inch layer of organic mulch on beds and around flowers. Mulching prevents weeds, preserves soil moisture and keeps the roots of your flowers cool.

Step 5

Fertilize as recommended. Use a low-nitrogen fertilizer for most flowers in the spring or at planting time to encourage blooms. Apply a higher-nitrogen fertilizer to perennials after blooming to encourage healthy foliage and root growth.

Step 6

Prune your flowers. Remove spent blooms completely before they begin seed development to encourage further blooming. Trim back dead and damaged leaves from perennials. Remove annuals completely once they have finished blooming.

Step 7

Cut down perennials to 3 inches after all foliage dies back in the autumn. Cover with straw mulch to protect the plants over winter.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid getting the leaves wet when watering, since this leads to mildew and other diseases. Allow perennial flower foliage to die back naturally or the plant can't store enough nutrients for next year's blooms.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer
  • Shears
  • Straw


  • University of Illinois Extension

Who Can Help

  • Monthly garden care planner.
Keywords: flower garden care, perennial plants, annual flowers

About this Author

Jenny Harrington has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her published articles have appeared in various print and online publications. Previously, she owned her own business, selling handmade items online, wholesale and at crafts fairs. Harrington's specialties include small business information, crafting, decorating and gardening.