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Growing tips for annual plants

| Les Serres Dauphinais

What is an annual plant?

The annual plant is the one that does not come back year after year unlike perennial plants. It is not designed to resist winter temperatures. This type of plant has the advantage of blooming a lot during the summer and is often easy to maintain. Some plants, in our climate, will be considered annual while in other places, where the climate is milder, they would be considered a perennial plant. So, you have to be careful when you browse websites, because many of them are French and the climate is much milder in some parts of France. You could be under the impression that a plant is a perennial when in fact it is an annual plant.


Annual plants are perfect to complement your perennial beds or they can simply be used on their own. Annuals are also great for growing in pots. The variety of colors allows you to create original arrangements and you can experiment and change them from year to year. If you want beautiful pots, but don’t want to worry about creating them, we also sell pre-made arrangements. We have several types of pots and several colors available.



The exposure of the annual plants will vary depending on the variety chosen. There is truly something for everyone. Whether your arrangements are in the sun or in the shade, you will find plants of various colors that can be grown in all types of environments.

When you visit our store, you will see that the exposure is well indicated on the labels of each plant, which will help you create your arrangements.


The basic potting soil for planting should be composed of one third black soil, one third compost and one third peat moss.

When growing in a flower bed, you should provide about 20 cm (8 in.) of soil. The thicker the soil, the less often you will have to water your flower bed. A good thickness of soil also facilitates the development of the plants, which will have enough space so they can grow their roots. This will strengthen your plants. The Mix 3 potting soil from Isabelle, available at our store, is ideal for your flower beds. It is a pre-mixed soil that retains water. It is specially designed for flower beds. You won’t have to make your own mix and the soil provides the optimal environment for your plants to live in.

For the pot culture, it is necessary to make sure to have pots big enough for the type of plant chosen and the quantity wanted. Indications in store can guide you in your choices. It is necessary to favor a rich and light potting soil which retain water. Isabelle’s Miracle Mix is ideal for this purpose. It contains everything the plants will need and is very light. It will not become compact during the year and will retain water so you can water you plants a less often.


Annuals should be watered only as needed. It is important to water abundantly and deeply. Then, wait until the soil is dry before proceeding with the next watering.

For potted plants, it may be appropriate to put a finger in the soil and look a little deeper to see if the soil is still wet or if it is dry. If it is still wet, watering should be postponed.


In a flower bed, it is recommended to add compost to your soil every year before planting. Then, it is recommended to fertilize the plants once every 7 to 10 days with a water-soluble fertilizer. We recommend using a 20-20-20 all purpose fertilizer and a 20-5-30 flowering fertilizer alternately in early summer. Thereafter, only the 20-5-30 is recommended until fall arrives.

In pots, it is also recommended to fertilize the plants once every 7 to 10 days with a water-soluble fertilizer. We recommend using an all-purpose fertilizer 20-20-20 and a flowering fertilizer 20-5-30 alternately in early summer. After that, only the 20-5-30 is recommended until fall arrives.

See our fertilizer information section for more information on the fertilizers available at our store.

Plant pruning

Annual plants that have become slanted can be pruned at any time during the season. They can be pruned to any length you wish. Removal of deadheading is recommended throughout the season for all varieties of annual plants. This allows the plants to be stronger and bloom more during the summer.

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