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Pick and Plant Flowers for Your Garden

Garden Image

Beautify your garden in minutes by planting flowers. An amazing flower garden begins with selecting the right plants and a few simple planting techniques.

Tools & Materials

Use this checklist when you go to the store and purchase your items.

  • Compost
  • Fertilizer
  • Hand Rake
  • Hand Trowel
  • Hose, Sprinkler or Watering Can
  • Mulch
  • Top Soil
  • Work Gloves

Choosing the Right Plants for Your Garden

The first step to growing beautiful flowers is choosing the right plants for each area of your garden. Find all the information you need to pick the right flower on each plant's label. Look for the following information:

  • Light conditions. No amount of TLC will help a shade plant survive the summer sun, or make a sun-loving plant thrive in the shade. Before you buy any flowers, check to see how many hours of direct sun each planting area in your garden receives and choose flowers that are appropriate for each particular area. Here's how plant light needs are generally described:
    - Full sun: Prefers six or more hours of direct sunshine a day
    - Partial shade: Thrives in three to six hours of daily sunshine
    - Shade: Generally does well with less than three hours of sun per day, but even shade-loving plants will have trouble thriving in deeply shaded areas
  • Mature size. Pay attention to the plant's full-grown dimensions — both its diameter and height. Will the plant fit comfortably in the intended spot when it reaches full maturity? If you are planting several flowers in clumps, make sure they're far enough apart to allow for maximum growth.
  • When to plant: Most flowers need to be put into the garden on or after the last likely spring frost date. A notable exception are pansies, which are hardy enough to survive moderate frosts. Many spring flowering bulbs can survive a frost, but the bulbs must be planted in the fall.
Flowers such as sunflowers, zinnias and cosmos are easy to grow from seeds. For faster results, use transplants.

Annuals

impatiens

Some flowering plants require special care or several growing seasons to achieve lush results, so focus on the following surefire flower picks to achieve a great look as quickly as possible.

Annuals grow only one season. Plant the following in clusters of three to five for a lush or multi-textured look:

  • Shade: Impatiens, coleus and begonia, primrose
  • Partial sun: Pansies in spring or fall, geraniums, petunias, vinca, annual chrysanthemum in fall and begonia's in spring after the threat of frost has passed.
  • Full sun: Geraniums, vinca, marigold, zinnia, sunflower and cosmos

Perennials

Perennial bulbs produce flowers every spring in planting zones that experience at least six weeks of freezing winter temperatures. Ask a Lowe’s Garden Center Specialist if you live in an appropriate planting or hardiness zone for perennial bulbs.

Outdoor bulbs should be planted in the fall. Follow all directions on the bulb's package, and after a winter freeze, the bulbs will be super-charged to burst into bloom next spring.

Bulbs that work well in conditions that range from partial shade to full sun include:

  • Daffodil
  • Tulip
  • Iris 
  • Crocus 
  • Lily 
  • Hyacinth

perennials

Other perennials produce flowers and foliage year after year, often spreading out and becoming more lush and full with each growing season. Although perennials typically cost more per plant than annuals, they offer years of beauty and growth. For best results, a specific perennial plant needs to be appropriate for your hardiness zone. Ask a Lowe's Garden Center Specialist if you live in a planting zone that's appropriate for a specific perennial.

  • Shade: Hostas, astilbe, bleeding heart and phlox 
  • Partial sun: Ornamental grasses, yarrow and phlox 
  • Full sun: clematis, ornamental grasses, sedum, Russian sage, black-eyed Susan, daylily and perennial chrysanthemum

Roses are probably the most popular flowering perennial. If you've never planted a rose before, avoid hybrid tea roses, which require almost constant attention and have a short bloom season. Instead, look for a modern shrub rose with a long bloom season such as any of the Knock Out Rose varieties.



Planting Your Flower Garden

Woman Gardener

Now that you've found a location and decided on the flowers you want to grow, the actual process of planting flowers is simple.

Consider building a raised bed to grow flowers. You can fill the bed with good-quality soil and compost.


Step 1

Prepare the soil where you want to plant flowers. Loosen up the ground with a hand trowel or rake. Be sure to remove any sod or weeds. Add topsoil, compost and other additives to make the soil light and nutrient-rich. Look for premixed bags of soil that are specifically blended for flowers or perennials.


Step 2

At this point, you may want to mix granular fertilizer into the soil. Or, you can add liquid fertilizer at a later time.


Step 3

With a trowel or your hands, dig a hole in the prepared soil. The hole should be a bit wider and deeper than the plant's container.


Step 4

Gently remove the plant from the container. For small six- or eight-packs of annuals, push up gently from the bottom to free each plant. You may need to pull off roots that have grown through the drainage holes. For larger potted plants, place one hand over the soil surface, invert the pot and tap the edge gently on a table or other surface to free the root ball. Handle the freed plants by their root balls rather than the tender stems whenever possible. For large pots, you may be able to use a utility knife to cut off the container.


Step 5

Gently loosen roots on the outside edge of the root ball. Tease apart the mass of roots at the bottom of root ball.


Step 6

Place the plant in the hole.
Fill with soil and press soil firmly around the roots with your hand. Cover the surrounding area with mulch.

Thoroughly water the newly installed plant.


Project Information

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*Time and Cost are estimated.