Growing Annuals

Annuals are the flower power behind every gorgeous garden, hanging basket and patio pot. They are showy, easy-to-grow favorites of both new and experienced gardeners. And when you choose Proven Winners® annuals, you can count on having big beautiful blooms all season long with minimal care.

Choose from hundreds of Proven Winners annuals specifically developed for their summer garden performance and these characteristics:

•    Easy care
•    All-season bloomers
•    Covered in bright colorful blooms
•    Disease free
•    Trialed and tested for proven performance

Our most popular annuals are petunia, verbena, and calibrachoa. 

Keep in mind not all flowering plants are annuals, some are perennials.  The difference is annuals are one-season plants that die when it gets cold.  You replant them every year.  Perennials appear to die when the temperatures drop, but their roots are actually hibernating and will produce new plants in the spring. With annuals you start with a new plant palette every growing season. 


To get the most out of your plants, especially container plants and annuals, fertilizing is essential. Have you ever wondered why some people seem to be able to grow larger, fuller plants? The likely answer is that they are feeding and watering them consistently. While some plants will do OK with little or no plant food, annual plants need to be fed to reach their full potential. However, it's important not to overdo it. Plant food is one of those things where more isn’t necessarily better. It is possible to harm your plants by feeding them too heavily. Our Proven Winners fertilizers are designed to be great all-purpose plant foods!

What we recommend for annuals : add continuous release plant food at the time of planting, and then feed every third time you water or once per week with water soluble fertilizer during the growing season. If your growing season is long, top-dress your annuals with continuous release fertilizer again in midsummer. 


Most annuals like consistent water. They can tolerate a little more or a little less, but the key is to be consistent. The more they receive their needed water on a regular basis, the more reliable they are in producing new flowers. 

Things get dicey when someone forgets to water and plants become very dry, or if someone gets carried away and makes the plant soggy. Those extremes are harder for the plant to deal with than regular watering. When the plant is stressed by the extremes, they stop producing flowers and just try to survive – you never want your flowers to have to make that decision!

The amount of water annuals need fluctuates a bit through the seasons. Here are a few tips for watering your pretties: 

  • To test whether or not your plants are ready to be watered, stick your finger down into the soil to the depth of your first knuckle. If it feels dry, it's time to water. Once you've had some practice, you'll be able to tell by the weight of your planter whether or not the soil is dry. 
  • Annuals planted in pots, window boxes or hanging baskets will dry out more quickly and therefore will need more frequent watering than those planted in landscape beds.
  • In the spring when there is rain and cool nights and your annuals haven't grown much yet, they need just enough water to keep them moist. 
  • As the summer progresses, the heat, sun, wind and pot size may all cause your plants to need more water. 
  • As fall weather settles in and night temperatures start to cool off, you’ll notice your annuals stay moist longer with each watering and need less water overall.

Quick Tip: Most annuals love full sun, but always check the specific needs of the plants you choose by reading through their plant tags!

Questions? Shoot them over to We love to help!