Deriving their name from the five-pointed petals on the flowers, Pentas are warm region tropical blooming plants. They come in a profusion of colors, with flowers that are a variety of pink, red or white, but new cultivars have introduced tones of purple and lavender and mixed blooms such as pink with red centers. When you know how to grow Pentas, you have a foolproof way of attracting hummingbirds and butterflies, too.
Big, heart-shaped leaves that display amazing color combinations of white, pink, red and green best describe caladiums. They love hot, humid weather and grow best in full to partial shade, though most varieties can also be grow in full sun as long as they get plenty of water. This provides multiple options for planting caladiums in gardens, landscapes, and combining them with other sun loving annuals, perennials and bulbs. Decorate outdoor sitting areas with caladiums since they grow well in pots and planters and are the perfect solution for brightening a shady porch or a covered deck. They also brighten up window boxes and hanging baskets and make a colorful border along a sidewalk or flowerbed.
Beautiful and extremely popular flowering plants that grow well both in the garden and in containers, Geraniums are popular for their bright and sometimes fragrant flowers, but they bring with them the extra bonus of being especially good companion plants. They come in a wide range of colors, from white and red to various shades of pink and purple. Growing geranium plants is easy as long as you can give them what they need. Depending on where or how you grow geranium plants, their needs will be somewhat different. Indoors, geraniums need lots of light for blooming but will tolerate moderate light conditions. These plants need to be grown in well-draining potting soil as well. When growing geraniums outdoors, they require moist, well-draining soil similar to that of indoor potting soil with equal amounts of soil, peat, and perlite. Locate your geraniums in an area with at least six to eight hours of sunlight. Mulching the plants is also recommended to help retain moisture.
One of the most popular annuals, petunias add masses of color to gardens and containers. These tough plants are capable of putting on loads of blooms all season long and come in a wide variety of colors and patterns with an almost endless range of options. The blossom size selection is quite diverse as well. Whether you're looking for a low-growing groundcover, a mounding type for containers, or a rambling wild plant to fill up some space, there is a petunia for every situation.
The most popular flower grown in the U.S., impatiens flowers are bright and cheerful annuals that can light up any dark and shady part of your yard and growing them is quite easy. They can be used as bedding plants, border plants or in containers as well as making beautiful hanging baskets. When done in mass plantings, they make quite the colorful impact. They enjoy moist but well-draining soil and partial to deep shade. They do not do as well in full sun, but if you would like to plant them in full sun, they will need to be acclimated to the harsher light. You can do this by exposing the impatiens plants to increasing amount of sunlight over the course of a week.
Pansies are cheerful, multi-colored flowers that among the first of the season to offer winter color and will continue to bloom into the early spring. Today’s hybrid versions are more adaptable to heat than those of the past with larger blooms displayed and more vigor. They prefer a full or part sun location and are happy in hanging baskets, combination containers and flower bed borders. Proper preparation of the soil goes a long way in helping keep your pansies happy. Work in organic material such as compost or well-rotted leaves to a 4-inch depth before planting. This accommodates the growing pansy’s need for well-draining soil and provides nutrients as the organic material decomposes. When growing pansies in well-prepared soil, the need for fertilization will be minimal. Pansies also prefer acidic soil and for longer blooming periods and the equation is simple: water and deadhead them.
Dianthus, also known as “pinks”, belong to a family of plants which includes carnations and are characterized by the spicy fragrance the blooms emit which is hints of cinnamon or clove. They can be found most often in pink, salmon, red and white hues. Dianthus are small and usually between 6 and 18 inches tall and also called Sweet William. The foliage is slender and sparsely spread on thick stems. Blooming typically lasts from May to October but known to last much longer. Plant in full sun, partial shade or anywhere they will receive at least 6 hours of sun and they need fertile, well-drained soil that is alkaline. Water them only at the base of the plant to keep the foliage dry and prevent mildew spotting. Deadheading is extremely important to reduce volunteer plants and to encourage additional blooming.