...Annuals...

Growing Annuals Since 1959! At Belgian we currently grow over two acres of annuals: geraniums, petunias, begonias and much more! We grow over 8,000 hanging baskets and planters each spring. We start planting in February for the spring ahead. Our best selection of Annuals is during the month of May, although by Victoria Day weekend some varieties may already be sold out!  Browse through our greenhouses and see all the beautiful annuals to choose from.

From flowers to foliage, annuals add beauty with colour, texture and fragrance. Annuals provide a long blooming season and produce a strikingly elegant look to your home. Annuals can be used almost anywhere: the garden, pots, planters, baskets, window boxes and mixed with perennials or shrubs. Your annual garden or patio's overall look depends on your personal choice of plants - a mass planting, a multi-coloured group of flowers or ones with different textured foliage. There is no set way of planting annuals since there are so many different styles.

Before selecting annuals for your space you need to know your lighting conditions: is it site sunny, shady or a bit of both? You also need to know what your soil conditions are, if you need to improve its quality or simply add more to the site. Choosing annuals that grow to different heights is a fantastic way to enjoy your garden from all angles; check the grower's tag to see how tall your plants will grow.

When to plant your annuals depends on frost. Generally, it is safe to plant annuals around the 20th of May. We recommend that you cover them if there is a call for frost after this time. Annuals CANNOT Tolerate Frost or cold temperatures below 10 C!

Maintaining annuals is fairly easy. This includes fertilizing and watering on a regular basis to keep your plants healthy, grooming the plants by removing old blooms to promote more flowers or pinching back plants to promote new growth.

Baskets and Planters

“Easy Anywhere Gardens”

Baskets and planters create a beautiful atmosphere. Preparing your own hanging baskets and planters is enjoyable and rewarding, or choose from our selection of ready made pots for instant enjoyment.

When choosing your plants, first determine where your pot will be located - in a sunny or shady spot -  and then choose the appropriate annuals. When you browse through our greenhouses you will see signs and tags indicating light requirements. When creating your own combinations you may decide to choose a main feature flower and several fillers, a complete assortment of flowers and foliage, or a single type of annual. Check the size that the mature plant will reach to determine the number required.

What you choose to go into your basket or planter is all about your personal preference. Browse through our greenhouses and find interesting plants that will work for you or pick up one of our ready-planted baskets or pots for easy instant gardening!




-open/close- -open/close-Success with Annuals - Care Tips


Light:

Annuals are available for sunny and shady locations. Know your location, and then pick annuals to suit the spot. See the tips below for ideas on annuals for sun or shade.

Full Sun: Sun all day with little to no shade. Minimal shade only in the early morning or late afternoon, not exceeding a few hours.
Partial Shade: Direct sun shines on the area for approximately half the day. A tree canopy that allows some beams of light through and filtered light for the remainder of the day is also considered partial shade.
Full Shade: Shade all day with little to no sun. Generally under tree canopy or along the North side of a building, hedge, etc.
Deep Shade: No sun; under dense canopies of trees. These locations are usually very dry.

Water:

Watering on a regular basis is required to keep your plants healthy. During hot and dry periods, extra watering will be necessary. Remember that hanging baskets, pots and planters can dry out very fast and may need water once or twice a day on hot summer days.

Fertilizer:

Fertilizing your annuals will help promote stronger, healthier plants with more flowers. Feed annuals every two week with an all-purpose or flowering plant water-soluble fertilizer. A slow release fertilizer (at recommended rates) is great for in the garden and baskets and planters. Manure or compost can also be added before planting in garden beds.

Soil:

Have your flowerbeds prepared before planting. A loose, richly organic soil is best for annuals. Some beds may require the addition of soil - 3 way mix, black earth or top soil is ideal for this. Adding manure or compost is also beneficial to add nutrients to the area. Soil with a high content of clay and/or loam should be lightened with peat moss.
A potting soil is best for baskets and planter pots, as it is lighter then a garden soil (top soil) and will help retain moisture and allow drainage. We have ready-to-use potting soils available for container planting. It is best to use fresh soil each year in baskets and planters, as the leftover decaying roots from last year's plants may cause unwanted problems.

Mulch:

Mulch looks good and, even better, will retain moisture and discourage weed growth. After planting add 1 to 2 inches of mulch on flowerbeds to complete this beneficial look.

Tips:

- If you choose to buy your annuals early make sure the plants have adequate light, water and warmth.
- Annuals cannot tolerate frost or cold temperatures below 10ºC. Only plant outside when there is no further chance of frost.
- Deadhead: Remove old flowers to promote new blooms.
- Fertilize every 2 weeks to keep plants healthy and blooming strong.

-open/close- -open/close-Baskets & Planters



Gardening can now be placed almost anywhere!  From flowers to herbs and even vegetables, almost anything can be grown in containers.

Choose your spot and pots

Know your location: sunny, shady or a bit of each. Know what you have space for: large pot, small pot, on the patio table or a window box. Then have fun picking out the pots you want to use. At Belgian we have a huge pot selection available all year long! When choosing your pot remember to check for drainage holes. For baskets, make sure you have a strong enough hook for the size of basket you choose. For patio planters, consider going for a larger pot since more soil will maintain moisture, which can help during the hot dry summer.

Prepare your pots

A potting soil is best for baskets and planter pots, as it is lighter then a garden soil (top soil) and will help retain moisture and allow drainage. We have ready-to-use potting soils available for container planting. It is best to use fresh soil each year in baskets and planters, as the leftover decaying roots from last year's plants may cause unwanted problems. It may also be beneficial to sterilize or wash your containers if you had diseased plants in them the previous year.

Pick your plants

Once you know your light requirements and the position of your planter, you can plan if you want your pot to be single-sided (with the taller plants at the back) or full all-around (tall plants in the center, the middle filled with shorter plants and trailing plants at the edges). At Belgian, our shady annuals are grouped together and kept separate from the sunny annuals in the greenhouses, to make it easier to choose compatible plants. Remember to check the heights of your chosen plants so you can plan your containers.

Water regularly – and then some more!

Baskets and Planters will need watering more often than flower gardens. It is best to check your containers daily and water when needed. Your pot size, type of plants, growing location (sunny or shady) and weather conditions will be the indicators of when your pots will need water. When the soil is dry to touch, but before your plants begin to wilt, is the time to water. Each time you water, keep going until you see water coming out the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Regular watering is necessary for healthy plants, especially during heat waves which will likely mean watering once or twice a day.

Fertilize, Fertilize, Fertilize!

Fertilizing your annuals will help promote stronger, healthier plants with more flowers. Plants in containers are dependant on you to give them the nutrition they need. Keep the nutrients in the soil by feeding annuals every two week with an all-purpose or flowering plant water-soluble fertilizer. Also using a slow release fertilizer (at recommended rates) is great for baskets and planters as it releases a little bit of food with every watering.

Prune and deadhead your plants

Grooming is an important part to keeping your baskets and planters looking fresh and healthy. Deadhead flowering plants to help promote new blooms. Many of the trailing flowering plants respond well to pruning a few random pieces off every two weeks to encourage new growth; this also helps keep the plants staged for flowering to avoid a period of time with no blooms, especially during heat waves. If some of the foliage or flowering plants are getting too long or tall, many of them benefit from a pruning to control shape and size.

-open/close- -open/close-Sunny Annuals


Most annuals appreciate a spot in the sun. With so many choices open to you, it can be a bit overwhelming! Below you will find a few popular suggestions to help get you started. Scroll down a bit further for a more comprehensive listing of annuals for sun, including general sizes, growth habits, and other notable traits to help you make your best sunny selections.

Full Sun
: Sun all day with little to no shade. Minimal shade only in the early morning or late afternoon, not exceeding a few hours.
Partial Sun: Direct sun shines on the area for approximately half the day. A tree canopy that allows some beams of light through and filtered light for the remainder of the day is also part sun.


Suggestions for Sunny Main Plants


Dahlietta
Geranium
Heliotrope
Nicotiana
Petunias
Strawflower
Ivy Geranium
Marguerite Daisy
Marigold


Suggestions for Sunny Foliage Filler Plants


German Ivy
Silver Licorice
Sweet Potato Vine
Vinca Vine



Suggestions for Sunny Flowering Filler Plants


Bacopa
Bidens
Euphorbia
Sanvitalia
Scaevola
Verbena
Lamium
Lobelia
Nemesia



Annual Listing

Below is a listing of some of the varieties of sunny annuals typically grown here at Belgian. Please note that availability changes rapidly and many varieties sell out by mid-May. New varieties are also added every year. Visit us to see our full selection.

Height Legend
S = Short - up to 15cm/6”
M = Medium - 15cm/6” to 40cm/18”
T = Tall - 40cm/18” and up

Habits
CL = Climbing
TR = Trailing - great for basket, planters or planted as a carpet in beds.

 

Height

Ageratum

S

Alyssum

S

Amaranthus

M

Angelonia

M

Asters

S

Bacopa

S

TR

Bidens

M

TR

Black Eyed Susan Vine

T

CL

Canna Lily

T

Castor Bean

T

Cleome

T

Cosmos

T

Cuphea

M

Dahlia

M

Dahlietta

M

Dianthus

S

Dusty Miller

M

Felica

M

Gazania

M

Geranium

M

Geranium, Ivy

M

TR

Gloriosa Daisy

M

Gompherena

S

Helenium

M

Heliotrope

M

Ivy, English

S

 

TR/CL

Ivy, German

S

TR

Ivy, Swedish

M

TR

Lamium 

M

TR

Lantana

M

Licorice, Silver

M

TR

Lobelia

S

M

TR

Marguerite Daisy

T

Marigold

S

M

T

Millet Grass

T

Morning Glory

T

CL

Nasturtium Vine

M

 

TR/CL

Nemesia 

M

Nicotiana

M

Ornamental Cabbage

M

Ornamental Kale

M

Osteospermum

M

Purple Fountain Grass

T

Petunia, regular

S

M

Petunia, mini trailing

S

TR

Petunia, wave

M

TR

Plumbago

M

Portulaca

S

TR

Salvia

M

Sanvitalia

M

TR

Scaevola

S

TR

Snapdragon

S

M

T

TR

Spike

T

Strawflower

M

Sunflower, Dwarf

M

Sweet Pea

T

CL

Sweet Potato Vine

M

TR

Verbena, trailing

S

TR

Verbena, upright

M

Vinca Vine

S

TR

Zinnia

M

T



-open/close- -open/close-Shady Annuals


Shady spots in the garden can often benefit from a cheerful pop of colour. Below you will find some popular suggestions for your shady beds and baskets. Scroll down a bit further for a more comprehensive listing of annuals for shade including general sizes, growth habits, and other notable traits to help you make your best selections.

Partial Shade
: Direct sun shines on the area for approximately half the day. A tree canopy that allows some beams of light through and filtered light for the remainder of the day is also partial shade.
Full Shade: Shade all day with little to no sun. Generally under tree canopy or along the North side of a building, hedge, etc.
Deep Shade: No sun; under dense canopies of trees. Usually these locations are very dry.




Suggestions for Shady Main Plants


Begonias
Coleus
Fuchsia
Impatiens
Streptocarpella


Suggestions for Shady Foliage Filler Plants


English Ivy
German Ivy
Lysimachia
Spider Plant
Sweet Potato Vine
Vinca Vine



Suggestions for Shady Flowering Filler Plants


Bacopa
Cuphea
Fuchsia
Lamium
Lobelia
Lysimachia
Streptocarpella
Torenia, Trailing


Annual Listing

Below is a listing of some of the varieties of shady annuals typically grown here at Belgian. Please note that availability changes rapidly and many varieties sell out by mid-May. New varieties are also added every year. Visit us to see our full selection.

Height Legend
S = Short - up to 15cm/6”
M = Medium - 15cm/6” to 40cm/18”
T = Tall - 40cm/18” and up

Habits
CL = Climbing
TR = Trailing - great for basket, planters or planted as a carpet in beds.


Height

Habit

Asparagus Fern

M

TR

Bacopa

S

TR

Begonia, dragon wing

M

Begonia, fibrous

M

Begonia, trailing

M

TR

Begonia, Tuberous

M

Browallia

M

Celosia

S

T

Coleus

M

T

Dusty Miller

M

Fuchsia

M

TR

Impatiens, double

M

Impatiens, New Guinea

M

Impatiens, regular

M

Ivy, English

S

 

TR/CL

Ivy, German

S

TR

Ivy, Swedish

M

TR

Lamium

M

TR

Lobelia

S

M

TR

Lysimachia

S

TR

Mimulus

M

Plumbago

M

Polka Dot Plant

M

Spider Plant

M

TR

Spike

T

Streptocarpella

M

Torenia, trailing

M

TR

Torenia, upright

M

Vinca Vine

S

TR



-open/close- -open/close-When to Plant Annuals and Protecting them from Frost


When to plant your annuals is always the number one question each spring, and the decision is really up to Mother Nature so, sadly, we all have to wait until she decides when it's warm enough to plant. Watch or listen to the weather stations as they are great sources for frost warnings, but keep in mind that many annuals cannot tolerate cold temperature below 10ºC in the early spring. You may choose to buy annuals early for the best selection, but please make sure you provide the plants with adequate light, water and warmth in the gap between purchasing to planting.

Ways to Protect from Frost in Spring

Bring the plants indoors. This is the safest method of frost protection. If the temperatures are cold during the day and night, place your plants in a sunny window with adequate space and water as required.

Cover with and old blanket, bed sheet or drop cloth. This method is best once the major frosts have passed and your annuals have been planted, but there is still a chance of frost. Just gently throw the sheet over the plants and anchor it down with a few stones to keep it from blowing off. The simple shelter of a blanket may be enough; however a hard frost or a super cold night still may damage or stunt some plants. Remember to remove it during the day so the plants can get light and air.

Garage.
Not recommended, unless your garage has great windows and is heated. On stretches of cold days and nights an unheated, a windowless garage can cause more problems than good.

Water.
Not recommended if you expect a hard freeze, as this could backfire. To protect against a little frost, a generous watering can help retain some of the day's heat into the night hours. Also, watering extremely early in the morning when the frost settles could help minimize damage (best done at 4 AM to 5 AM). However water is the last of he options we would recommend.

Ways to Protect from Frost in Fall

Many annuals can tolerate the cooler temperatures in the fall better than spring, as they are conditioned by Mother Nature as the evenings start to get colder. However if there are some annuals or vegetable plants that you are concerned about, the covering method is the best for the fall. If you are concerned about the plants that are in pots or baskets, bringing them into the house or garage overnight could also be an option to help prolong the life of your plants. Remember to place them back outside during the day to provide them with the light they require.

-open/close- -open/close-Attracting Butterflies & Hummingbirds


Butterflies are attracted by scent, and some flowers send out a more pleasing perfume than others. Hummingbirds are attracted visually, and especially like certain shades of red. Many red coloured flowers are good sources of nectar.

Butterflies and Hummingbirds may appear as soon as your flowers open, or it may take them a while to find your garden. If you don't see them there's no need to worry, simply enjoy the beautiful flowers in the meantime!

A majority of the plants that attract Butterflies and Hummingbirds prefer full sun for most of the day, so it is best to choose a full sun location for your garden. If your location is partial shade, afternoon sun would be preferred over morning sun. Shade created from a tree is suitable, as long as there is more sun than shade.

Attracting Hummingbirds and Butterflies with annuals is easy and inexpensive. As well as your perennials and herbs, the bright colours, textures, and scents of annuals are very effective attractants. Annuals are usually planted already flowering and last all summer, providing food and cover for your visiting friends.


Some suggestions that attract Hummingbird and Butterflies are:

Ageratum
Alyssum
Aster
Bacopa
Begonia – All types
Calendula
Calibrachoa
Canna Lily
Cosmos
Cuphea
Nasturtium
New Guinea Impatiens
Nicotiana
Pansy
Petunia – All types
Portulaca
Salvia
Snapdragon
Verbena
Zinnia
Dahlia
Dahlietta
Dianthus
Fuchsia
Geranium
Heliotrope
Impatiens
Lantana
Marguerite Daisy
Mimulus



Tips about Butterflies

Butterflies are the adult stage of an insect, the caterpillar. You may not like caterpillars but you have to remember:

*no caterpillars = no butterflies*

If you use insecticides regularly in your garden you are probably killing off the beautiful butterflies you are trying to attract. You can plan for caterpillars being in your garden by planting a food source for them. This is fun to do with kids so they can watch for caterpillars and learn the process of how they change into butterflies.


-open/close- -open/close-Annuals that are Good for:
Fragrance, Foliage, Dry or Moist Locations

Fragrance:

Add fragrant flowers to your garden or pots and enjoy not only the bright beautiful flowers, but their lovely smell too! Below are a few suggestions of fragrant annuals:


Nemesia
Nicotiana
Wave Petunia
Sweet Peas
Alyssum
Asters
Bacopa
Dianthus
Heliotrope
Lamium
Lantana
Marigold

Foliage:

Foliage is a great way to add texture to baskets, planters and even the flower garden. Add height and structure with Grasses and Spikes. Create a dramatic look with bold foliage like Gryphon Begonias or Ornamental Kale. Go for a soft texture with Ferns or a traditional look with Ivies. Some foliage textures are also found on flowering annuals too! Like Marguerite Daisies, Canna Lilies and Nasturtiums. Foliage has wonderful look in any garden. Below are some foliage suggestions for foliage annuals:


Amaranthus
Asparagus Fern
Begonia - dragon wing
Begonia – Gryphon
Begonia - fibrous
Canna Lily
Castor Bean
Coleus
Dusty Miller
Impatiens - New Guinea
Ornamental Cabbage
Ornamental Kale
Polka Dot Plant
Purple Fountain Grass
Spider Plant
Spike
Streptocarpella
Sweet Potato Vine
Vinca Vine

Isrine
Ivy -English
Ivy -German
Ivy -Swedish
Lamium
Licorice - Silver
Lysimachia
Marguerite Daisy
Millet Grass
Nasturtium Vine

Dry Locations:

The annuals listed below can tolerate some drier locations, however they will require watering when newly planted and especially during heat waves:


Alyssum
Cosmos
Dusty Miller
Gazania
Portulaca
Snapdragon
Spider Plant
Spike
Gomphrena
Ivy - English
Lamium
Lantana

Moist Locations:

Sometime we have those spots where the water just sits, especially after it rains. The annuals listed below have proven to be a bit more tolerant of moist spots:


Bacopa
Begonia - dragon wing
Begonia - fibrous
Begonia - trailing
Begonia - tuberous
Black Eyed Susan Vine
Canna Lily
Castor Bean
Licorice - Silver
Mimulus
Nasturtium Vine
Ornamental Cabbage
Ornamental Kale
Streptocarpella
Sweet Potato Vine
Torenia – trailing
Coleus
Dahlia
Dahlietta
Dianthus
Fuchsia
Heliotrope
Impatiens - New Guinea
Ivy - German & Swedish
Lamium



-open/close- -open/close-Impatiens Downy Mildew Information

Impatiens downy mildew (IDM) is a foliar disease of Impatiens walleriana which is capable of causing complete defoliation or plant collapse. IDM is more likely to happen in garden plantings under moist conditions and cool nights. In the summer of 2011, some beds and containers started showing signs of IDM in North America. In 2012 and 2013, outbreaks were observed in landscaped beds and greenhouses. If you have had Impatiens failing in your garden in the last three years, this may be the cause.

Impatiens Downey Mildew produces spore-like “Sporangia” on the undersides of the infected leaves that are easily dislodged and can spread short distances by water splashing and longer distances by air currents. It has been said that IDM can stay in the soil over the winter and affect the following year’s plantings of Impatiens walleriana. We recommend to not plant regular Impatiens in the same spot if you have had any signs of IDM in the pervious year.

This being said, New Guinea Impatiens (Impatiens hawkeri) have high resistance to the disease. At Belgian, we grow New Guinea Impatiens and Sunpatiens as alternative options for regular or double Impatiens. Other alternatives would be Begonias, such as Dragon Wing, Fiberous or Tuberous.

We have decided to limit the quantity of Impatiens (walleriana) we grow for this spring season. We hope that soon this will just be a memory and we will all be able to grow Impatiens whenever and wherever we like. If you wish to plant Impatiens walleriana there are some cultural methods that you could try to help reduce the risk of getting IDM:

Water in the morning, allowing time for the foliage to be dry overnight. 
Plant in an area that will allow good airflow, to avoid excess moisture.
Change your location if you've had an issue in the past.
If planting in baskets or containers; sterilize your pots by washing with an environmentally friendly cleaner.

-open/close- -open/close-Plants & Tips for Attracting Bees

Did You Know?

  • Bees have been around for MILLIONS of years.
  • A bee’s wings stroke about 200 times per second, hence their “buzzzz”.
  • One bee can visit 50 - 100 flowers in a  single collection trip.
  • A colony have a population of 20,000 - 60,000 bees and 1 queen.
  • Bees are the only insect that produces food that is eaten by humans.
  • About 3/4 of the food we eat depends on bees for pollination!

 

Planting gardens that attract bees not only creates valuable homes for them, but can also increase the yield of nearby fruits and vegetables! Bees thrive in habitats with a wide variety of plants and flowers, and even a single pot of mixed annuals is a great way to attract bees.

Tips For Planting a Bee-Friendly Garden 

  • Single flowers are best as they have more nectar and are easier for bees to drink from.
  • Native species, heirloom and wildflower varieties tend to be better. They have more nectar than hybrid varieties.
  • Bees prefer flowers that are blue, yellow and purple. Bees have excellent colour vision, and these colours stand out to them.
  • Avoid using pesticides in your garden, which are very often harmful to bees.
  • Plant a diverse garden, with a good range of colours, cultivars and flowering times. Bees feed on a range of plants and need flowers from spring to fall!

Annuals & Herbs for Attracting Bees

Alyssum

Basil

Cosmos

Borage

Dahlia

Catnip

Heliotrope

Chives

Lantana

Marjoram

Marguerite Daisy

Oregano

Salvia

Rosemary

Sunflower

Zinnia

 

 

-go to- -go to-Plant Problems, Insects & Diseases