Today's hours: Closed until March 4th, 2024. Stay warm and safe!

Get Directions

Your Cart

0 items

June 14, 2017

Fertilizing Annual Plants

Just like humans, your annual plants are living things that need food to help them grow.

fertilizer for annual plants

Just like humans, your annual plants are living things that need food to help them grow. Along with sunlight and water, it is important that your plants are receiving the nutrients they need in order for you to have the best looking garden. Your annual plants gather several elements from the air and soil, but sometimes that isn’t enough. This is when fertilizer is useful, especially in the summer heat. Fertilizing your plants gives them those necessary nutrients that they may not be gathering, lessens the summer stress on them, and encourages more blooms. Learn about the nutrients that play a key role in your annual plants’ growth and the types of fertilizer that are available.

Fertilizer Nutrients

Plants need a variety of nutrients, but the three major ones are Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. Nitrogen plays an important role in photosynthesis. Phosphorus supports the growth of roots, stems, flowers, and fruit. Potassium is a key part of how plants produce and digest their food. Overall, fertilizing your annual plants helps them get bigger, produce more flowers, and look more full and lush. Healthy soils rich in organic matter provide much of the nutrition that plants need, but for annuals especially it is a good idea to supplement this with fertilizer. Even potting mixes that advertise that they contain fertilizer should be supplemented with a liquid or granular fertilizer.

Types of Fertilizer

Liquid fertilizers come either as a liquid to be diluted in water or granules meant to be dissolved in water. These work great for fertilizing during the growing season while you water your plants. Granular fertilizers come as solid pieces which you sprinkle onto the soil at the time of planting. These are generally slow-release fertilizers, which means it takes longer for the nutrients to become available to the plants but they provide nutrition for a large part of the growing season.

On the fertilizer package, you’ll see three numbers (like 5-10-5), this is the Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium content of the fertilizer, in that order. Generally speaking, an all-purpose fertilizer such as a 10-10-10 is great for most annuals. When applying fertilizer, always follow the directions on the package – it is possible to over-fertilize!

Check out our Garden Maintenance Schedule to learn more about when you should be fertilizing your plants!

Other Garden Tips

tree top spruce pot care

Evergreen Tree Top Pots: Caring For And Building Your Own

The Sunnyside team shares tips for caring for your tree top pots (ready-to-go or DIY), as well as the basic steps to building your own evergreen pots for the holiday season.

Learn More
Sunnyside team member Courtney arranges cold-weather ornamental kale.

Late Summer In the Garden: Everything You Need to Know

Late summer is a busy time for most, between some of the hottest weeks of summer and busy schedules, it can be easy to overlook…

Learn More
garden july care

July in the Garden: Tips to Beat the Heat

July is for patriotic porch time, hot lazy days spent listening to the cicadas, and shaded evenings staying up late on the deck or patio.…

Learn More