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2013 Top Design Winner, Chris Cipriano explains when to plant annuals in your spring garden. Bergen County- Northern, NJ-Cipriano Landscape Design


People are always wondering when the best time to plant annuals is in the Northeast. Spring can be a roller coaster of weather conditions in this area, especially in the early months. Most annuals do not tolerate frost conditions well, and so planting too early can kill the plant entirely if we were to get hit with a cold spell. You also don’t want to wait too late into the season because by then all of the good annuals may have been bought already. So what is the best time to plant in the Northeast?

We like to make absolutely sure that not only have the frost conditions gone away, but the soil has also had a chance to warm up. Many annuals are grown in a green house under controlled conditions and if transplanted outside into weather or soil that is too cold, they will not be able to acclimate themselves well enough to survive. For this reason we do not plant annuals until after Mother’s Day. Over the years we have found that to be the best time where you won’t have to worry about frost and can still find the selection you are looking for.

If you are desperate for immediate color, pansies are a cold weather annual that can safely be planted earlier than Mother’s Day. There are many different varieties of the plant, so you can choose which ever color combination of flowers you desire in your yard. If you are patient and can wait for the weather to warm up, there will be more of a selection that you can choose from for annuals. Marigolds, impatients, geraniums and snapdragons are some of the standard choices. Angelonia is one of our favorites and looks best planted in larger masses 6” on center so they fill out nicely.

Annuals that are planted at the right time can be a beautiful addition to any garden adding bright colors and lovely scents. With their compact size they can fit into any garden plot where you want to add some color. Annuals are great for potted plants as well, allowing you to raise them up closer to eye level which is wonderful in spaces around a patio area or near an entrance to a home.

If you need help selecting, which annuals will be best in your garden, call our office @201-785-0800 or email us, You can also try your local nursery or garden center.