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Which Kinds of Flowers Are Right for You?

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.Your aesthetic preferences will be a big part of choosing the kinds of flowers you’ll grow, but before you go pickin’ the prettiest flowers, consider the following…
 
Your growing space - Almost all flowers prefer well-drained, fertile soil and most need full sun, but some flowers are shade-tolerant and others actually prefer the shade. If you plan on growing flowers in a shady spot, be sure to choose shade-tolerant varieties!
Speaking of your growing space, take the time to review and implement the strategies discussed on our Starting a Garden page before going any further, especially if you plan to plant your flowers in beds.
 
.Shape and size of plant - the plants you choose should fit the space available to them. And don’t lock yourself into the same flowers or flowers of similar size… while grouping flowers in clumps of three to five is recommended, consider growing groups of flower plants of different height and shape next to each other for a more interesting look. As a general rule for multilayer gardens and beds, taller plants should be grown behind shorter plants.
.Color of flower - the same plant often comes in a variety of colors. If you really like the look, shape and size of one but the color’s not right, check to see if it comes in a different color.
.Transplanting pre-grown plants or starting from seed? Below we’ll explain the guidelines for transplanting pre-grown flowers and growing them from seed. While transplanting is easier and offers the instant gratification of immediate blooms in your garden after planting, it does have a couple of drawbacks…
The satisfaction of doing it all yourself from seed can’t be matched.
There are many flower varieties that are only available in seed form.
.Insect and disease resistance – if you know about a certain pest or disease that’s common in your area or if you’ve had problems with one in the past, choose flowers that are naturally resistant to those diseases. Our flower planting guide will share the specifics, but generally speaking you can help to keep your plants disease- and pest-free by:
Planting flowers native to your region
Keeping your plants healthy (with proper watering, soil maintenance, weeding, preventive pest control measures, etc.)
.Annual or Perennial? Your final decision – and one of your biggest – is whether to plant perennials (grow and flower for at least three years), annuals (complete life cycle in one year) or a combination of both. Here are the main advantages of each…
 ..Perennial:
   Live much longer so you don’t have to replant every year
   Less expensive to maintain since new plants don’t need to be purchased each year
   Fewer pest problems since the plants are typically stronger
   Require less water
 ..Annual
   .Flowers blooms remain for much longer (usually from spring until the first fall frost)
You can always mix and match for a “best of both worlds” approach, but there’s another option as well… plant a variety of perennials that bloom at different times.
 
.Plant hardiness is used to categorize the cold tolerance of annual flowers into one of three categories. Consider your plants’ hardiness when deciding the planting times for your annual flowers:
 ..Hardy - can tolerate light frosts after hardening off without being killed or badly damaged.
 ..Half-Hardy - can tolerate cold, wet, damp weather but can be damaged or killed by frost.
 ..Tender - need warm soils to germinate and grow properly.
   For example, if you’d like to have spring blooms in your garden, purchase hardy annual flowers.
.Flower garden designs - We highly recommend drawing out your flower garden designs on paper before getting started. Not only will this provide a map for planting time, but it will also remind you which annuals you planted where… an important consideration for your annual crop rotation (further discussed in the planting section pages below).
 
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