Spring is just around the corner and to many of us the spring season invokes an image of flowers. And that’s probably why National Plant a Flower Day is celebrated on March 12th! Each year this day is dedicated to the planting of flowers and looking forward to the spring season.
What to plant depends on your location. To find out more check out the USDA site for Hardiness Zones, but seeing as we did the legwork for you, you can just continue reading to find out what to plant in March.
Plant annuals and perennials. March is the time to get those colorful flowering plants into the planted. Annuals like coleus, zinnia, pentas, cosmos, torenia, gomphrena and cleome can be planted. Perennials like salvia (Salvia spp), Mexican mint marigold (Tagetes lucida), esperanza (Tecoma stans), purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), pink skullcap (Scutellaria suffrutescens) and black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) are great choices for our Texas heat.
Plant bulbs, trees and shrubs. There is still time to plant trees and shrubs before the weather gets too warm, so aim for earlier in the month to get these planted. These larger landscape plants can, ideally, be planted during warmer months, but you will have to tend to them much more closely as they acclimate. Bulbs like elephant’s ear, cannas, caladiums, daylilies and irises can be planted now for lush summer foliage.
Fertilize your lawn. Texas lawns generally need to be fertilized twice a year (spring and fall). Look for a lawn fertilizer with a 3-1-2 or a 4-1-2 ratio. The numbers represent the amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium in that particular fertilizer; Texas lawns typically don’t need a high middle number (phosphorus). Follow directions on the bag to avoid over-fertilizing, which can actually harm your lawn. Water in well after fertilizing.
Watch out for pests and diseases. With the arrival of spring, you can be sure some unwanted garden guests will make an appearance. Bugs like aphids, thrips, grasshoppers and whiteflies can do real damage to new transplants. An insecticidal soap or spray will usually work but do be sure you know the good bugs from the bad ones before you treat. Plant diseases like powdery mildew typically make their debut in the spring as well, so have your fungicide on hand or use an organic alternative like cow’s milk in a spray bottle.
If all this seems like too much work, then just grab a pot, add some dirt, and plant a sunflower! Although sunflowers can be started indoors in individual peat pots, it is easiest to sow seeds directly into the soil after all danger of spring frost is past. However, where the growing season is short, sunflowers can be safely planted up to 2 weeks before the last expected spring frost.