Flowers brighten up a landscape and add color and beauty to a yard. Although many flowering plants grow naturally in the wild, keeping flowers looking attractive in outdoor flowerbeds and flower gardens requires some time and effort. Some varieties of flowers require specific care, but most flowering plants will benefit from application of basic gardening techniques. Encourage the healthy development of your outdoor flowers by providing them with the conditions necessary for optimum growth and appearance.
Perform a test on the soil in your landscape to determine which, if any, amendments are needed. Although some types of flowers thrive in a variety of soils, including those with poor compositions, many flowering plants require adequate levels of certain soil nutrients. Loosen your soil with a shovel and work any recommended amendments into the top 6 to 8 inches of existing soil to get your flowers off to a healthy start.
Water your plants regularly. Check the label for each variety when purchasing plants to determine each plant’s specific watering requirements. Do not allow the soil to dry out near the roots of your flowering plants. Check the soil frequently, especially during periods of drought, and apply enough water to maintain a steady level of moisture near the roots.
Pull the weeds out of the soil near your flowering plants. Neglecting this tedious task may result in the loss of your flowers, as competing weeds steal moisture and nutrients. Lightly water the soil the evening before pulling weeds to loosen the roots. Minimize the appearance of weeds in your flowerbed by placing weed-blocking fabric over the soil near your flowers. Hold the fabric in place with a light covering of wood-chip mulch.
Remove wilted blossoms from your outdoor plants to improve the appearance of your flower garden and to encourage your plants to send valuable energy to new flower buds, rather than seed production, states North Carolina Cooperative Extension. Cleanly snip off spent blooms with a sharp pair of pruning shears.
Fertilize flowering plants a couple of times during their active blooming periods. According to Kansas State University Extension, gardeners should apply a time-release fertilizer early in the season, when leaves begin to form on plants. Select a fertilizer specified for use with your varieties of flowering plants and apply according to the instructions. Feed outdoor flowers a second time after flower buds begin to appear and start to open, KSU Extension advises.