This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

October 4, 2014

Planting annual flowers in the Phoenix, Arizona area - Vinca

It's 9 am on October 4th and I'm out planting Vincas, which are annual flowers. I started planting them late last month, and you can plant them all fall and winter in the Phoenix, Arizona area. And if you're a beginner at all of this, Vincas are a great choice. I've been doing this for a long time now, and I can proudly say that I'm sure I've made most of the mistakes that can be made. And I'm sure I'll make some more! This is what I am learning:

• Take your time when planting. Sure, these little plants are only 37 cents each (I just used the calculator on my computer), but they are living things that deserve your care. Just because you can go back to Home Depot and buy a bunch more is no reason to kill them. I give annuals the same VIP treatment that I give all of my plants, including making sure that they are planted in rich potting soil (dig out the native soil and use it elsewhere), and have some slow-release fertilizer at the bottom of their planting hole. I'm using Osmocote because I got it on sale at Target.

• Water in well immediately. Then go back and water again. Then water some more. It's cool in the mornings now, but that sun can still get hot, and little plants like these can dry out quickly. By the way, if one dies (and they do), leave it in its planting hole until you can replace it. Once it's completely collapsed, nothing in the world can save it.

Personally, I find this kind of stuff very therapeutic. I've always been an early riser, and it's a quiet activity that really is best done in the cool of the mornings in October. My motto here at The Tropical Paradise has always been to plant them small, and take good care of them. If you have a nurturing spirit, this will just make perfect sense to you. If not, hold onto the receipts, as I believe Home Depot will refund your money. I've never done it, as I know the mistakes were always my fault. I live and learn.

Excuse me, time for more planting!
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