Lush green foliage and brightly colored blooms bring gardens to life. Planting a variety of flowering plants with overlapping blooming times guarantees a splash of color from spring until fall. Although little can be done to alter the natural blooming time of specific plants, with proper care and adequate nutrients, you can encourage rapid growth and large showy blooms.
Select an area that provides adequate light for the specific plants you desire to grow. Most flowering plants thrive in full sun, but many grow well in partial or full shade, as well. Check the growing requirements on the plant identification tag or the seed packet to determine the amount of light your flowers require.
Prepare the soil by tilling to a depth of 8 to 10 inches and removing any plant debris, roots or rocks from the soil. Add a 2- to 3-inch layer of compost and mix it in well with the soil.
Plant seedlings or seeds to the recommended depth and spacing for the specific plant. Although some plants are cold hardy, most require planting after the danger of frost has passed. Check the requirements of your plants to avoid damage because of cold weather or frost.
Provide adequate water for your plants. Most require an inch of water a week. If your area does not receive enough rainfall, supplemental watering is necessary. Water thoroughly and allow the soil to dry before watering again. Thorough watering once a week is preferable to frequent light watering because deep watering encourages roots to grow deeply, providing adequate support for the plant.
Apply water-soluble fertilizer every 10 to 14 days to encourage lush growth. Follow the recommended application rate on the container.
Apply a high phosphorous fertilizer to your plants just before blooming to produce large brightly colored blooms.