You don’t need to own a yard or a deck to plant your own flowers. All you need is some sunlight, a planter and soil.
Planting flowers is really as simple as that. Find an outdoor spot that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight daily (you can get creative with hanging baskets, planters that hang over window sills and such, if you live in an apartment building) and then shop for the right planter.
A planter needs to have a hole for draining, but otherwise, just look for something that you like. Ideally it should last you for many seasons, so look for something that looks pretty even when bare (think winter months).
You can find planters in home improvement stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot, but many other places sell them too.
What you will need:
- A planter
- Potting soil (enough to fill that planter)
- Plant food
When buying the flowers, look for annuals that do well in the climate you live in and also in the spot where you will be planting. I usually plant a mix of petunias, begonias, geraniums, impatiens, vinca, and more. Just pick plants that you like and read about them before you purchase. Each plant comes with a small cardboard stating its characteristics.
Bear in mind that the flowers will double in size so give them enough room to grow, therefore, do not overbuy.
To get started, make sure your planter has a draining hole. Sometimes you will need to drill the hole.
Let’s start with a simple planter with one type of flower only.
Here I am planting a succulent called Lime Zinger Sedum, a plant that handles harsh temperatures with little maintenance.
I started by filling my planter with soil, almost until the top. I added a few teaspoonfuls of Osmocote Plus, a plant food that will slowly release nutrients in the soil, over time.
In this image, you can see how I remove the plant from its container by gently squeezing and tugging at it with one hand, while holding the actual plant with the other.
Once you have the plant in your hand, you just need to move some soil aside (create a dent) and place the plant securely inside.
Continue with the next plant
Until you have an evenly filled planter. Cover with more soil, making sure that the roots are all covered. Easy, right?
I think we are ready to tackle something a bit more advanced.
Fill the planter with soil, ¾ up.
Add some of the plant food (here I am using the Osmocote Plus again) then, mix it up to distribute evenly in the soil. (Read the instructions on how much you need, depending on the size of your planter).
Now, you can start planting. Start with the center. If you have a tall flower or plant, like geraniums, place them in the center.
All you need to do is simply move aside some of the soil, remove the plant from its pot by gently squeezing and tugging at it with one hand, while holding the actual plant with the other, and then place it into the soil. Press down and cover with a bit more soil. It’s that simple.
Move over to the corners. You want to use a flower that will grow climbing and spilling out of the pot. These are usually labeled as “climbers” or “vines.” I started here with a flower called Minifamous Compact Calibrachoa which looks like a mini petunia but really isn’t a petunia at all. These will grow tumbling down the corners of the planter giving it a beautiful and colorful effect. Any vine will look pretty as well, even if without blooms.
Once you have filled the pot evenly, make sure to add another layer of soil to cover well and then, water the planter thoroughly. In the beginning, it is imperative to water often and generously until the flowers establish and settle into their new home. Once established water as needed.
Planting directly into your lawn is pretty much the same thing.
All you need to do is dig a hole
and place your plant in,
making sure it is in deep enough, and cover all sides well.
Here I am planting two new Daylilys which are perennials (which means they will come back, hopefully, every year) next to my old ones. They will all bloom in late summer. Look at how simple it is to plant; I didn’t even use any tools.
Don’t be scared to try and experiment with new plants and flowers. It’s all a learning experience. Most importantly, have fun!