How to Keep Flowering Plants Living


Flowering plants, whether grown as houseplants or landscape plants, add color to the home. Annual plants bloom for only one year, while perennial plants return each year. Yet both require proper care to look their best. Every flowering plant type has differing care requirements, but they all fall into similar categories. Making sure the flowering plant receives the proper care for that category is critical to keeping the plant alive and attractive. Most flowering plants require standard maintenance to thrive and flower all season.

Step 1

Provide the proper amount of light for the plant. Most plants require six or more hours of sunlight. Place potted plants in sunny windows, preferably south-facing. Plant outdoor flowers where they receive the amount of light recommended on their plant tag.

Step 2

Water as often as recommended for the plant type. Water most potted flowers when the top 1 inch of soil begins to feel dry. Pour water into the top of the pot until it begins draining from the bottom to ensure the soil is evenly moist. Water most outdoor beds at least once a week, providing 1 to 2 inches of water at a time. Avoid overwatering, which is just as damaging as underwatering.

Step 3

Apply a 1- to 2-inch layer of organic mulch, such as bark mulch, around outdoor plants to preserve soil moisture. Mulching also prevents weed growth in the flowerbed.

Step 4

Fertilize potted plants every two weeks with a liquid houseplant fertilizer. Fertilize garden plants every two to three months with a general-purpose fertilizer. Follow package instructions for exact application rates.

Step 5

Pinch off spent blooms from both indoor and outdoor flowering plants, as this improves the appearance of the plant and encourages further flowering. Prune away any dead or damaged leaves and dispose of them.

Step 6

Inspect outdoor and indoor flowering plants for signs of insect infestation, particularly aphids and mites. Look on the undersides of leaves for mite signs, such as discoloration or webbing, or aphids, which are green, yellow or brown insects that feed on the bottom side of leaves. Rinse off the leaves with water to combat them, or treat with an insecticidal soap.

Tips and Warnings

  • Remove any foil or plastic wrapping from plant pots. These decorative wrappings hold moisture in and may cause the plant's roots to rot. Potted flowers kept outdoors dry out more quickly than indoor plants. Check the moisture in the pots daily and water as needed.

Things You'll Need

  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer
  • Shears
  • Insecticidal soap


  • University of Georgia Extension Office: Care of Ornamental Plants
  • University of New Hampshire Extension: Care of Flowering Gift Plants
Keywords: flowering plant care, potted flowers, landscape flowers

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.