How to Plant Flowers

Three Parts:Planning your Flower GardenPlanting Your FlowersMaintaining Your Flowers

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "The Earth laughs in flowers." Make your home or garden a joyous and bright place to be by planting flowers--nature's own way of showing happiness. Follow these steps to make your favorite locations blissful with the addition of flowers.

Part 1
Planning your Flower Garden

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    Get the best soil. Flowers, like all plants, need good soil in order to grow up strong and healthy. Regardless of whether you are planting your flowers in a pot or a garden, good soil is a must. Avoid soil that is heavy with clay, sand, or rocks, and that has a balanced pH near 7. Flowers need at least six inches of loose soil to start out growing in, so loosen up a top layer at least this deep.
    • Test your soil’s pH level to determine if you need to add anything. If your soil has a low pH (high acidity) below 6.5, add in ground sulfur to neutralize it. High pH levels (too alkaline) can be rectified by adding in ground limestone. Both are available at garden centers.[1]
    • Add in organic materials to add nutrients to your soil. Decomposing leaves and plant matter mixed with your soil will help your plants to grow healthier and faster. Do this a few weeks or months before you plant your flowers so that the nutrients have time to thoroughly mix with the soil.
    • Mix in some fertilizer . For an added nutrient boost, purchase a bit of fertilizer from a local garden center and mix it in with the soil. This can be done the day of planting, which makes it a quick alternative to weeks of adding organic matter.
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    Select your location. Although flowers are typically easy to grow, they can’t be grown just anywhere. An area with too much direct sun or too much shade will be difficult for some flowers to grow in. Find a happy medium with a location that has sun and shade throughout the day.
    • If you have a specific plant in mind to grow, check the light preferences for that plant and choose your plot accordingly. You may end up wanting to choose an area with more or less sun than your original plot has.
    • If you plan on planting several different types of flowers, choose ones with similar light/shade requirements so that they grow equally as well in the same location.
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    Decide on your flowers. Visit a local gardening center to choose the best flowers for your garden. Growing from seeds, a small plant, bulbs, or a cutting requires nearly the same process, so focus on flowers that you enjoy and that will add a beautiful appearance to your yard. Check the tags that come with the flowers or seed packets to make sure the flower is right for you.
    • Look for the completed growth size of the flower. Will it become very large and bushy, or stay relatively small? Will it grow upwards and become tall or outwards like a vine?
    • Ask about native flowers before looking at all the available varieties. Flowers indigenous to your area are already known to be successful growers in your soil, temperature, and humidity zones.
    • Check to see if the flower you are growing is an annual or a perennial. Annuals bloom only once a year and must be replanted yearly, but are known for their bright colors and beautiful blossoms. Perennials grow back every year without needing to be replanted and will continue to grow larger over time.
    • Read the tag for the watering requirements for the flowers. Some need water often, while others require it only infrequently. If you are getting multiple different species of flower, try to choose ones with similar watering requirements.[2]
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    Plant at the right time. Even with the perfect soil, ideal location, and healthy flowers, if you don’t plant at the right time your garden will be ruined. Flowers don’t do well in weather that is too cold or very hot, so go with the time in between these periods: spring. Although planting in the spring may seem obvious, there is an art to choosing the perfect time. Wait to plant flowers till at least two weeks after the most recent frost, and avoid planting until temperatures at night stay above freezing on a regular basis.
    • Use a farmers almanac to find the best time to plant flowers in your area. Because of differences in weather in different locations, flowers can be planted anywhere from February - July.
    • Better to play it safe than sorry. Rather than risking freezing your plants out, plant a few weeks later (rather than earlier). You may have a shorter blooming period, but your flowers will be less likely to die.
    • If you have your plants much too early, plant them in containers and start them out indoors. Use a heat lamp and daily waterings to keep them healthy until they can be transplanted outdoors.[3]

Part 2
Planting Your Flowers

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    Dig a hole. If you are planting your flowers from seed, you will need to dig a hole only 2–3 inches (5.1–7.6 cm) deep and equally as wide. A transplanted/potted flower will need a hole as deep as the root ball that it comes with. Flowers don’t need to be smothered with soil, so burying them deep isn’t necessary.
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    Get out your flowers. This step is mainly for potted flowers that are being transplanted. While the flowers are still in a plastic pot, water them heavily to drench the soil. Then, pull the flowers out of the pot and gently break up the root ball with your fingers. This will help the roots of the flowers to grow out into the soil, rather than back into a confined lump.
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    Feed your flowers. Putting a bit of slow-release food for flowers (similar to fertilizer) will help new plants to grow quickly. Add a few tablespoons to the bottom of each hole, and gently incorporate it into the soil with your fingers.
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    Plant your flowers. Place each plant into the individual holes prepared for them. Use your hands to fill in the empty space around each flower and cover the top of the root ball. Avoid adding much soil to the top of the flower; the stem of the flowers should never be covered by the dirt.[4]

Part 3
Maintaining Your Flowers

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    Water your flowers regularly. Unless you are experiencing rain on a daily basis, take the time to give water to your flowers. Add several tablespoons of water to each plant by using a watering can several feet above the flowers to avoid damaging the petals or leaves. You can also have a sprinkler or drip system installed to do the work for you on an automated basis.
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    Weed the area. You want your flowers to be the focal point of your little garden plot, so don’t let weeds steal the show! As you see them appear, pull out unsightly weeds from the soil around your flowers. Not only are the weeds unattractive, they take nutrients from the soil and space in the ground that your flowers need to grow healthily.
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    Deadhead your flowers. Whenever blooms on your flowers die off or become old and wilted, cut them off. Cutting off the dead blossoms and leaves will stimulate new growth and have your flowers looking even more beautiful than ever.
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    Add support. If your flowers are tall growing, over time they may become too heavy to stand on their own. Add bamboo stakes or forked branches upright in the ground for the plants to lean against or wrap around for support. This is particularly helpful and necessary for vine-y flowers which grow by wrapping around things.
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    Consider relocating. As you continue to help your flowers grow, they may become too large for the plot you originally chose for them. Consider moving them to a larger location and adding new flowers to their old location. This will keep your garden growing big, healthy, and beautiful![5]


  • Even if your soil looks good (black, wormy, with consistency not too sandy or clayey), it never hurts to add a bit of compost to the planting area to conserve water and give nutrition to the plants.
  • If you have pets, enclose the planting area with a barrier that will prevent them from trampling the newly planted flowers.
  • When you buy plants, carry a white sheet of paper with you and place it under the leaves. Gently shake the plant and if a lot of bug remains or rot falls off, don't buy the plant because it will infect the other plants in your garden.
  • Don't use grass fertilizer on flowering plants and shrubs because it will make the foliage overly green but hinder flower growth. Grass fertilizers have the same percentage of Nitrogen as Phosphorus, so avoid 10-10-5 or 14-14-5 for flowers.


  • Some flowers are poisonous to people and pets, so unless you're sure, keep kids and animals away from the plant.
  • Follow the instructions on the little plastic marker. Specifically, make sure that the flower is planted in sun or shade, depending on what it needs.

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Categories: Growing Flowers