Cool Season Annuals and Proper Pruning Techniques


Adding pops of color to your porch or landscape are easy to do with annuals.  Here are a few tips to make sure your annuals thrive and survive the winter.


I like to add river rock or #57 gravel to the bottom of my containers.  Then I cut a piece of landscape fabric and lay that on top of the gravel so it acts as a filter for the soil and won't clog up the drainage hole.


The soil contains nutrients to feed your plants.  If you are using the same old soil, year after year, your annuals won't perform to the best of their ability so add new soil each time you change your seasonal color.


Cool season annual selections are more limited compared to warm season annual selections.  Select your favorite colors and textures and go with it!  Do not over fill your planters.  Wider spacing allows for better air circulation between plants and helps to avoid problems like spider mites and diseases.  Here are some of our favorites.


Finish the look of your planters with mulch.  We love natural or chocolate brown mini pine bark nuggets.  The mulch gives the planter a finished look, helps insulate the root systems, retains moisture and cuts down on weeds.


Water your cool season annuals every other day for the first week or two.  Then you can cut back to every 3-4 days or even once a week at the peak of winter.  Use your judgement - you never know when it will be 80 degrees on Thanksgiving day in Georgia and your plants will need some extra H2O.

Pruning is another important task.  Pruning helps keep larger, mature plants at a manageable size and shape and can help you train or direct the growth of your other plants.

For example, we prune the tops of our boxwoos but leave the mid sections as they are because we want them to grow together to create a hedge or wall.  Some people do the same with loropetalum.  Pruning too early can reduce winter hardiness.  Here are some shrubs you can prune now.

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