Annuals are plants that complete their life cycle from germination, flowering and seed production, within one year or a single growing season. The entire plant (roots, stems and leaves) eventually dies after a year.
Annuals produce very beautiful flowers and can be used in pots, hanging baskets and garden beds to adorn your desired area. They also attract butterflies and hummingbirds.
Popular annuals that grow well in Trinidad include: African Daisy (Arctotis), African Marigold (Tagetes erecta), Angelonia (Angelonia), Vinca (Catharanthus roseus), Begonia (Begonia) , Coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides), Gazania (Gazania), Impatiens (Impatiens), Pentas (Pentas lanceolata) and Petunia (Petunia).
Most annuals require partial sun which makes them ideal for enclosed areas. Annuals requiring full sun can be used in your outdoor garden beds. If cared for properly, you can have your annuals budding and blooming throughout its growth cycle. Follow these tips to have perfect annuals:
Water your annuals daily. Annuals love water. Adequate watering ensures less stress for your plant, encourages blooming and consistent growth. Be careful not to overwater, as this can cause root rots, yellowing and browning of leaves and will eventually kill your plant.
Fertilise your annuals monthly. A fertiliser mix, such as Nutrex, N: P: K ratio 20:20:20, will ensure that your plant is healthy: greener, bud and bloom more.
Deadhead your annuals regularly. Deadheading is the process of pinching, snapping or cutting off dead blooms. Your plants will always look attractive and produce more flowers.
Pinch or trim the top of plants. To ensure that your annuals always have a full, bushy appearance, it is essential to trim or pinch the top of the plant. Sharp secateurs are ideal for this.
Be on the lookout for pest and diseases. Use preventative measures such as natural repellants and preventative sprays with biochemicals to ensure that pesky pests stay away from your plants.
Annuals are sold in almost all plant shops. I encourage you to purchase them; they are relatively inexpensive and easy to care for using the tips provided.
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