How Do You Keep Flowers Alive in Seasons

By Contributing Writer

  • Overview

    Flowers bring so much color and beauty to our lives, it's no wonder that we want to keep them alive as long as possible. Some flowers last just one season; all we can do is collect their seeds and start again the next year. Others can live indefinitely with the right care.
    • Step 1

      Watch the forecast. Even a light frost can kill all but the hardiest perennials. If frost is predicted you will need to take steps to protect your flowers. The most fragile plants will need to be moved indoors. Carefully dig around the roots and place them in pots or containers that allow good drainage and ample room to grow. Use quality potting soil and give them plenty of water but not too much after the initial transplanting. If you have bulbs to dig up, they should be placed in a paper bag and stored in a basement or cool, dark place. Some flowers can remain outside at least for awhile longer if not the whole winter, depending on the zone where you live.
    • Step 2

      Cover the flowers you choose to keep outdoors. For a heavy frost you can save some of your flowers by covering them at night with a clear or light-colored plastic. Remove the plastic the next morning after the frost has lifted. One of the best ways to protect your flowers is to give them a layer of compost and a liberal covering of mulch. Another option is to transplant your flowers to a warmer location on your property. Try the south or east sides or an area with extra shelter from the elements.

    • Step 3

      Place your indoor flowers in a sunny location, but be aware that windows may be too cold or drafty depending on the temperature outside. It's also hard on them to be close to a register. Too much direct heat in the winter or air conditioning in the summer can kill them. Feed and fertilizer are unnecessary until you notice growth or flowering. If you don't have a lot of time to care for indoor plants you can leave them in a cool, dark place like a basement and they will go dormant. There are always exceptions so this may work well for some plants and not others. For specific information, do a search on the kind of flower you wish to keep.
    • Step 4

      Pick flowers that are tolerant of frost. If you want blooms to last as long as possible without intervention, choose hardy plants such as cornflowers, larkspur, lobelia, pansies, petunias, snapdragons, sweet peas and viola. There are many others, but this would give you a colorful start.
    • Skill: Moderate
    • Ingredients:
    • Gloves
    • Trowel
    • Soil
    • Fertilizer
    • Mulch
    • Pots
    • Containers
    • Tip: Always use organic mulch such as pine needles, wood chips and leaves. Organic mulch stabilizes soil temperatures. It keeps the soil cooler in summer and warmer in winter while inorganic mulch, like stones, tends to do the opposite.
    • Tip: You may need to add a little nitrogen to the soil if your plants appear pale or yellow.
    • Warning:
    • Flowers don't like wet "feet." They should never stand in water. Use containers with drainage holes.

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