Arizona Gardening: Flowers still transplantable - East Valley Tribune: At Home

Arizona Gardening: Flowers still transplantable

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Posted: Saturday, February 9, 2008 2:24 am | Updated: 9:30 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Q: I didn’t plant flowers in the fall. Can I plant flowers in February and still enjoy the spring blooms?

Q: I didn’t plant flowers in the fall. Can I plant flowers in February and still enjoy the spring blooms?

A: Yes, if you plant them as transplants. The soil is too cold now and it will take too long to grow them from seed. Remember you will have to replace them with summer flowers the last part of April. That is hard to do emotionally because the winter flowers are still blooming prolifically, but if you don’t change them out the last of April the summer flowers won’t be acclimated when the hot weather arrives. But enjoy your flowers for two to three months before you need to replace them with the summer flowers. Remember: The best time to transplant flowers is the last of October and the last of April.

Here are a few tips:

Most plants need a minimum of eight to 10 hours of sunlight to produce flowers, however, there are a few that thrive in the shade. Example; petunias — full sun; geraniums — part or full shade or full sun. Most flowers enjoy a nutrient-rich, well-drained soil (nobody likes wet feet). Flowers, like vegetables, are heavy “eaters” and will require nitrogen for vegetative growth and phosphorous for healthy roots and reproduction, which includes flowers. Use 16-8-8; first number on the bag is nitrogen, second is phosphorous, and third is potassium.

Perennial flowers show to their best advantage when planted in groups of odd numbers (three, five, seven) in a drifting effect. Annuals look great when massed together for maximum color effect. “Deadheading” is the term used for removing spent blossoms. Cutting or pinching off the dead flowers on a weekly basis prolongs the blooming period because the plant doesn’t expend its energy on seed production.

For complete details for planting flowers, visit cals.arizona.edu/pubs/garden/az1100.pdf or cals.arizona.edu/maricopa/garden/html/pubs/flowertable.pdf

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