Growing Annuals Since 1959! Belgian grows over 1.5 acres of annuals, including geraniums, petunias, begonias, and more! We also grow over 5000 hanging baskets and planters in varying sizes. Planting season starts in February, and our best selection of Annuals is during the month of May, though some varieties may sell out between Mother’s Day and the Victoria Day weekend! Belgian’s Annual Greenhouses open to customer shopping the beginning of May each year.
Annuals offer season-long beauty thanks to their vivid blooms, foliage, textures, and even fragrances. Plant them anywhere: garden beds, pots, planters, hanging baskets, window boxes, and nestled between existing perennials or shrubs. Focus on a single variety by mass planting, go for a range of rainbow blooms, or shine the spotlight on a vast array of textured foliage. And with Belgian’s selection of both sun- and shade-loving Annuals, there’s no shortage of incredible options!
When to plant your annuals depends on frost. It is generally safe to plant annuals around the 20th of May, but we recommend you cover them if there is a chance of frost after this date.
Annuals CANNOT Tolerate Frost Or Any Cold Temperatures Below 10°C!
Annuals are fairly low maintenance and easy to care for. Regular watering and fertilizing schedules, along with deadheading (removing spent blooms to promote new growth) are the best ways to ensure your Annuals thrive all season long.
Baskets and Planters
Hanging baskets and planters add beauty to any outdoor space. From single colours to full spectrum blooms, there is something for every taste! Planting your own hanging baskets and planters is enjoyable and rewarding, or choose from our ready-made selection for instant enjoyment.
When choosing your plants, first determine whether your pot will be located in a sunny or shady spot and then choose the appropriate annuals. Belgian’s Annual greenhouses are organized by light needs, so shopping for plants is easy and enjoyable! Keep your selections grouped by their light requirements to ensure all your baskets and planters thrive all season long.
Success with Annuals – General Care & Tips
Light: Annuals are available for sunny and shady locations. Know your location, and then pick annuals to suit the spot.
- 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. Make sure that your plants receive water to the very bottom of their roots. 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 and promote 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-in-1 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.
Potting soil is best for baskets and planter pots, as it is lighter than 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 issues.
Mulch: Mulch adds that finishing touch to your gardens 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.
- 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.
Baskets & Planters Tips
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. Belgian offers a range of decorative and plastic planter pots year-round! Remember to check for drainage holes. For baskets, make sure you have a strong enough hook for your size of basket. 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
Potting soil is best for baskets and planter pots, as it is lighter than 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 issues. It is 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 decide whether you want your pot to be single-sided (with the taller plants at the back) or enjoyed from all sides (tall plants in the center, the middle filled with shorter plants and trailing plants at the edges). Check the plant tags for their heights to help with your design. Belgian’s annuals are organized by light conditions to make planning and shopping easy and enjoyable!
Water regularly – and then some more!
Because of their smaller size and limited amount of soil, Baskets and planters will need watering more often than your gardens. Check your containers daily and water when needed – when the soil is dry to touch, but before your plants begin to wilt, is the time to water. Water until you see water coming out the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Hot and dry summer days will mean your plants will need a deep watering once or even twice a day.
Fertilizing regularly will help your annuals stay healthy, strong, and blooming. Many annuals are heavy feeders, so add nutrients into the soil with an all-purpose or flowering plant water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks. You can also choose a slow-release fertilizer (at recommended rates) which is great for baskets and planters.
Prune and deadhead
Grooming is an important part to keeping your baskets and planters looking fresh and healthy. Deadhead your flowering plants to help keep them lush and promote new blooms. Many trailing varieties respond well to cutting off a few random branches every few weeks, both to encourage new growth and to help with stress during heat waves. Pruning plants that have gotten too tall or lanky will help keep them lush and vigorous.
When to Plant Annuals & 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. Check weather stations often for frost warnings, and remember that annuals cannot tolerate cold temperature below 10ºC. If you choose to buy early for the best annuals selection, be prepared to provide your plants with adequate light, water, and warmth until it is safe to put your plants outside.
Ways to Protect from Frost in Spring
Bringing your plants indoors is the safest method of frost protection. Place your plants in a sunny window (but not touching the cold glass) and water as required.
If you choose to keep your plants outside, or you’ve already planted them and there is a chance of late frost, cover your annuals with and old bed sheet or drop cloth. This method will protect your plants from light frosts but may not offer adequate protection from a hard frost. Remember to remove the covering in the morning. Storing your annuals in a garage for extended periods is not recommended, unless your garage is heated and has great windows.
Ways to Protect from Frost in Fall
Many annuals can tolerate the cooler temperatures in the fall better than they would in spring. If you are still concerned for your plants, covering them with an old sheet or drop cloth is the best method for fall frosts. Bring your pots and baskets into the house or garage overnight to help prolong their life, then place them back outside in the morning.