How to Plant Annual Flowers


Annual flowers come in a wide variety of colors, textures and sizes to plant in your garden or yard. Add annuals to your landscaping in the spring and enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the blossoms all summer long and longer for some. Choose the best annual flowers for each location, provide the proper growing environment, plant the flowers at the right time, supply the needed nutrients and water to the annuals and then watch them thrive.

Step 1

Know how much sunlight each area considered for planting receives each day. Check the location throughout the day and make note of the amount of sun.

Step 2

Prepare the soil after the last chance of frost passes. Use a hoe, rake and shovel to clear the planting sites of all grass, weeds, rocks or other matter.

Step 3

Add 3 to 4 inches of organic matter, such as aged manure, peat moss, leaves and compost to the location. Cultivate this into the top 6 to 8 inches of soil using a rototiller or hand tools.

Step 4

Fertilize the selected site with all-purpose fertilizer as directed by the label. Mix this well into the soil. Level the area with a rake.

Step 5

Select the right annual plants for your yard. Read the markers provided with the annuals to learn the sun requirements of plants desired. Pick annuals that match your yard's conditions.

Step 6

Look for healthy plants free of disease or pests. Check the leaves and stems for any signs, such as color changes, weak spots or growths before purchasing.

Step 7

Plant your annual flowers on a cloudy day or in the evening hours. Purchase your annuals on the day of planting or shortly before. Keep plants watered and in a shady area outside until planting.

Step 8

Use a hand trowel to dig a hole the same depth of the container your annual comes in. Gently remove the annual from the container.

Step 9

Loosen up the roots and place annual flower in the hole. Fill the remaining gap around the plant with the removed soil.

Step 10

Press firmly with your hand to remove air from the soil. Water the newly transplanted flowers thoroughly.

Step 11

Add more soil around the flower, if needed. Continue to supply at least 1 inch of water per week, during growing season if rainfall is less.

Step 12

Use a shovel to add 3 to 4 inches of mulch around the flowers. This helps in maintaining damp soil and helps keep weeds away.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden gloves
  • Hoe
  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Rototiller (optional)
  • Organic matter
  • All-purpose fertilizer
  • Hand trowel
  • Water supply
  • Mulch


  • University of Illinois Extension: Gardening with Annuals
  • Penn State University Extension: Selecting and Planting Annuals for a Colorful Garden.
  • Cornell University Home Gardening: How to Grow Annuals

Who Can Help

  • USA Gardener: Annuals
  • Gardner's Supply Company: Annual Flowers
  • USDA Cooperative Extension Offices
Keywords: add annuals to your landscaping, annual plants for your yard, planting, transplanting