If you are new to gardening, and in particular new to growing flowers, then welcome to our guide on how to grow and care for flowers for beginners.
There are numerous books written on the subject of growing flowers of many different kinds. Those books go into great detail about the thousands of types of flowers available, and how to grow them properly.
Whilst that information is extremely useful, we know and understand that it can be in fact information overload for most beginner gardeners.
When starting out, we believe that most people like to get an understanding of the basics, and be able to grow some simple flowers, that add a degree of beauty to their garden.
So rather then making growing flowers a complex process, we will simply explain a few great basic growing tips for flowers. In particular we concentrate on which flowers are best and easiest to grow in the United Kingdom.
The bottom line is that if you know how to grow and care for your flower garden that it really can make a big difference in the look and over-all health of your shrubs, plants and flowers.
Tip 1 - Flower Growing Basics
Most flowers will either be planted in a border around the garden, or in some type of flower bed. That being the case then you main considerations should be the following:
- What type of soil do you have in your garden?
- What condition is the soil in?
- How much sun do you get in your garden?
- How much time do you have to care for your flowers?
To successfully grow flowers in your garden you need fertile soil and as much sunlight as you can get. These are what we call the basic necessities of any flower growing garden. In addition to that flowers need to be watered.
This is usually taken care of thanks to the wonderful UK weather, but flowers will need to be watered regularly in dry spells.
Growing Flowers from Bulbs
Many flowers such as tulips grow from bulbs. The one important task to remember when planting bulbs, is to make sure they go in at the correct depth.
Tip 2 - Mix and Match Perennials with Annuals.
It is always a great idea to mix in a few perennials with annuals. The key reason for doing that is that it means you will always have blooms coming oout at different times of the year.
Annuals grow and bloom for one season only. Perennials can grow for several years. The good news is that perennial flower bulbs don't need to be replanted since they grow and bloom for several years while annuals grow and bloom for only one season.
Just remember when planting out shrubs and perennials, make sure that you don't heap soil or mulch up around the stem. If you do, water will drain off instead of sinking in, and the stem could develop rot through overheating.
Tip 3 - Deadhead to encourage more blossoms.
The task of dead heading is something that many beginner gardeners can be a little afraid of. Beginners are usually afraid of doing more damage than good.
However, deadheading is simply snipping off the flower head after it wilts. The reason you should never be afraid to do this is that it will make the plant produce more flowers.
When you do cut the dead head off don't throw it into garden or a border. Old dead heads may cause mildew and other plant diseases.
Tip 4 - Know the Good from the Bad Bugs
There is a strong temptation to spray flowers to protect them from insect and slug damage. However, the reality is that most garden insects do more good than harm. Insects such as butterflies, beetles and bees are pollinators.
Pollination is important and these types of insects fertilise plants through the transfer of pollen from one plant to another. It is important to understand that 80% of flowering plants rely on insects for survival.
Fungi, bacteria, worms and other microorganisms are also necessary to help in the decomposition of dead plant material. The work that they do helps enrich the soil and make nutrients available to growing plants.
Some spiders and dragonflies are natural predators of those insects that do the real damage, such as blackfly and aphis.
Just be aware that some bugs are OK in your garden, but take strong action against those that are not.
Tip 5 - Feed Your Flowers
As you may know all flowers need a few things to grow healthy and strong. They need light, water, air and good quality soil. The sun takes care of the light, the rain take care of the moisture, and we can help a lot with good soil that is properly aerated.
It is very important that flowers get moisture every day, or every other day at the very least. That does mean regular watering during dry spells.
An occasional application of liquid fertilizer when plants are flowering will keep them blooming for longer.
Tip 6 - Pruning Your Flowers
Always prune any dead or damaged branches. Fuchsias are particularly prone to snapping when you brush against them. The broken branch can be potted up to give you a new plant, so it won't be wasted.