Growing Annuals Since 1959! Belgian grows over 1.5 acres of Annuals on site, including Geraniums, Petunias, Begonias, and more! We also grow over 5000 hanging baskets and planters in varying sizes. Our best selection of Annuals is during the month of May, though some varieties can sell out early, even before the Victoria Day weekend! Belgian’s Annual Greenhouses are open to customers at 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 with a mass planting, go for a range of rainbow blooms, or shine the spotlight on a vast array of textured foliage. 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 May long weekend (Victoria Day), but we recommend you check the weather reports daily and cover them if there is a chance of frost.
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 to water deeply so that moisture reaches the very bottom of their roots. During hot and dry periods, more frequent watering will be necessary; try to water in the morning to help reduce evaporation. Remember that hanging baskets and planters can dry out faster than your garden beds; check your pots daily and be prepared to 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 weeks with an ‘all-purpose’ or ‘flowering plant’ water-soluble fertilizer. A slow release fertilizer, used at recommended rates as stated on the packaging, is great for gardens and raised beds. Manure and compost can be added to garden beds (and ‘bottomless’ raised beds) before planting to add even more nutrients for the season.
Soil: Prepare your garden beds before planting. Loose, rich soil is best for Annuals, and this can be achieved by adding ‘soil additives’ when necessary: 3/1 (Triple) Mix, Garden Soil, Manure, and/or compost are all beneficial to the overall health of your gardens. If the site has high clay content, add a few inches of Peat Moss and mix well into the soil to break up clumps; it can also be added to sandy soils for added water retention.
For Hanging Baskets, Planters, and other Container Planting – ONLY use good quality Potting Soil! It is lighter than garden soils and helps to both retain moisture and allow drainage. We recommend replacing your potting soil every planting season, as leftover decaying roots from the previous year’s plants can cause unwanted issues. We carry several types of ready-to-use potting soils depending on your planting needs, including All-Purpose, Seeding, Indoor/Tropical Houseplant, and Cacti & Succulent soils.
Mulch: Mulch adds a finishing touch to the gardens while also retaining moisture and discouraging weed growth. Add 1 to 2 inches of Cedar Mulch to your gardens after planting, making sure to keep layer even and not piling up around the plants’ crowns.
- 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 thriving.
Baskets & Planters Tips
Choose Your Location
Knowing your location is essential: is it sunny, shady or a bit of both and at what time? Remember that afternoon sun is more intense than morning sun, which will affect your plant choices. Then plan for your available growing space: large pots, small pots, window boxes, etc; Belgian offers a range of decorative and plastic planter pots year-round! For hanging baskets, make sure you have a strong enough hook for your size of basket. For patio planters, consider larger pots when possible to help with moisture retention, which will be beneficial during the hot dry summer. Make sure all your baskets and containers have drainage holes.
Prepare Your Pots
Only use good quality potting soil for hanging baskets and planter pots; it is lighter than garden soil (top soil) and helps to both retain moisture and allow drainage. Wash and/or sterilize all your containers before filling with soil to help keep your plants healthy. We recommend replacing your potting soil every planting season, as leftover decaying roots from the previous year’s plants can cause unwanted issues. We carry several different types of ready-to-use potting soils depending on your planting needs, including All-Purpose, Seeding, Indoor/Houseplant, and Cacti & Succulent soils.
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 (Sun and Shade) to make planning and shopping easy and enjoyable!
Water Regularly (And Then Some More)
Because of their smaller size and limited amount of soil, hanging baskets and planters will need to be watered more often than gardens. Check your containers daily and water as needed – give your containers a deep drink when the soil is dry to touch but your plants have not begun to wilt. Keep watering until you see liquid coming out the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Be prepared to water once or even twice a day during the hot and dry summer days.
Regular feedings will help your Annuals stay healthy, strong, and thriving. Because of their short but intensely beautiful lifespan, they will benefit from the added nutrients found in an all-purpose or flowering plant fertilizer; apply every two weeks for improved overall health.
Prune and Deadhead
Grooming is an important step to keeping your baskets and planters looking fresh and healthy. Deadheading is the process of removing faded or spent blooms, typically using a pair of secateurs or scissors; be sure to cut the stem down to the next set of healthy leaves to promote new blooms. For trailing varieties, cut back a few random branches from the bottom layers to encourage new growth and keep them looking full and lush.
When to Plant Annuals & How to Protect 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 your Annuals early in order for the best selection, be prepared to provide your plants with adequate light, water, and warmth until it is safe to put them outside.
Ways to Protect Your Annuals 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; overturned pots can also help to keep the chill off your tender plants. This method will protect your plants from light frosts but may not offer adequate protection from a hard frost(-4°C or lower).
Ways to Protect from Frost in Fall
Many Annuals can tolerate the cooler temperatures in the fall better than they would in spring, thanks to a deeper root system developed from a full summer of growth. 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 once the frost has dissipated.