Gardening: Planting Annuals with a New Soil

When it comes to planting annuals, these two drought resistant flower types always thrive in my flower beds each summer.

the best drought resistant annuals

One of the best things about living in the south is that the outdoor gardening season begins earlier than it did when I lived in Pennsylvania. Back in PA, I used to have to wait until after Mother’s Day to plant annuals every year.

Drought resistant flowers

Here is South Carolina, the nurseries and road side flower sellers have been overflowing for the last few weeks with colorful annuals, perennials, veggies, herbs and more.

exterior house color scheme

My house is 40 + years old with plenty of mature and thriving green shrubs and bushes all around. It is missing something that I like to see though, it lacks pops of color in the way of flowers.

Rainy day pink hydrangeas

I do have one hydrangea that has pink blooms on the lake side of the house and another in the side yard, but I like to see colorful flowers all around and in bed and planters. Making sure they are low maintenance is also a big factor when I choose what type of flowers I plant.

I knew from last year that if I wanted to get the type and color of annuals I like to see around my yard, I better buy them as soon as I see them, otherwise they will be gone.

Flower garden soil tips

Miracle Grow Expand ‘n Gro

The easiest annuals for me to grow all summer long, both when living in Pennsylvania and now here is South Carolina are what I call the two “V’s”… Vinca and Verbena. They come in a variety of colors, purple, lavender, red, white, and pink.  I always plant pink, purple, or lavender.

I know what I like, and I also know that I don’t have a green thumb. I do what works for me and plant what the rabbits won’t eat. :-)   Vinca goes in the beds, Verbena in the pots on the deck. Rabbits like Verbena, but never touch the Vinca.

I don’t risk trying new types of flowers. I stick to my tried and true annuals that are both easy to care for and do not need constant watering. I also have always use Miracle Gro products to help it look like I have a green thumb. :-)

This year, Miracle Gro has a new garden soil that can be used not only for flowers, but for veggies, plants, succulents and more. It is called Expand N’ Gro Concentrated Planting Mix that makes your soil lighter and creates more air space to give your plants the room they need to thrive.

It is so lightweight that it can be delivered to your door though Amazon. Most soils cannot be mailed due to weight. The small bag and unique lightweight formula makes it easy to carry, ship and store.

I gathered my flower gardening tools and set to work.

How to grow drought resistant flowers

Most of the time when you plant flowers, you just put the the soil straight from the bag into a pot or planter or mix it into the ground. Using Expand N’ Gro is different. Part of the lightweight features is that it expands when water is added so you don’t need as much to fill pots and flower beds. Compared to basic potting soil – it covers 3X as much.

3x bigger flowers and plants compared to native soil and will be fed for six months.  Hello… I can’t wait to try you out this weekend.

Once I get all my Verbena and Vinca planted using Expand N’ Gro I will do a follow up post showing you the results.

Do you plant flowers in beds or planters around your house?  Do you plant the same flowers every year or do you change it up from year to year?

The weather forecast says it is going to be 91 degrees here today and over the weekend!  Yikes…I better get planting. :-)

Garden soil by Miracle Grow

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  1. You must try begonias now that you are in SC. I am on the gulf coast now but when we lived on the GA/AL line I planted there too. They come back like a perennial. Get the ones with dark leaves, whiskey names. They do have pink. I love the white blooms as can be seen at night easier. I added petunias this year in memory of my mother who had a flower box full blooming each summer. I also love my butterfly bush with purple blooms which would look wonderful with your pink.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Teresa – My neighbor just planted red begonias. I will find out more about them. I had a few purple butterfly bushes at my previous house. They were pretty and so easy to care for.

  2. I love zinnias and also cosmos! They grow great from seed and you have flowers for cutting and placing around your home all summer.

  3. It’ll be a few more weeks before I can plant my pots with geraniums, potato vines, whatever I find…it is still cool here in Wisconsin. But I have perennials all lined up to plant as soon as the rains stop. I’m planting lavender for the first time…excited about that, and I found two plants that attract butterflies and bees. I am itching to get out there! Enjoy your weekend! ;)

  4. Oh, yes! I plant like a crazy woman! I have a green thumb and have an indoor and outoor plant informary; any time my friends’ plants suffer I get them. Orchids, fiddle leaf figs, cacti, beginias… you name it, I have it. Currently over two dozen orchide are blooming inside. Outside I plant in-ground and about three dozen pmanters. I LOVE plants and love spending time in the yard. The only unfortunate thing is… I developed a violent allergy to poison ivy so now I have to spray and be vigilant. I’m sooo jealous that you get the warmth earlier than I do–I’m in NJ–and can get to playing in the dirt sooner than I can. But your hyndrangeas…perfection! Please post a follow-up about the fancy dirt!

  5. Linda Weeks says:

    I can’t wait to get out and plant! Maybe try these different flowers.. and the Miracle Gro too.. Have a good weekend!

  6. I also have found that vincas really work for me instead of petunias (too much work and they get leggy) or impatiens (slugs love the thick moist flower stems). I too use verbena or lantana in my pots along with a couple of sprigs of something that will cascade over the side. My thumb isn’t green enough for a lot of different flowers, so I use shrubs in various shades of green and burgundy, then plug in annuals for color in the summer. I do have pretty good luck with geraniums also and wildlife will not eat them either. I stick with what works – I’m not a very adventuresome gardener, nor do I have the ability anymore (I’m 75 with knees the same age) to build my flower beds into a work of art like I used to try to do. I’ve found that eventually you have to cut back. :)

  7. Pam Kavanaugh says:

    I do plant some annuals, but couldn’t imagine life without perennial beds! I maintain that I just want to plant it once and have it come up and flower every year for the rest of my life! While it isn’t QUITE that easy, day lilies, Siberian iris, astilbe, Amsonia, oriental poppies, Crocosmias, woodland and garden phlox varieties, and daffodil bulbs are almost certain to provide many years of blossoming, with a bit of mulch and even half-way appropriate light & water. As far as annuals, zinnias, for sure, and tall purple verbena, as well as Iceland or Shirley poppies in beds, and geraniums and nasturtiums in pots, are some of my favorites.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Pam – From what you wrote, I think you have a very green thumb…a few of them. :-) Your flower beds sound amazing and must be full of color. I planted Day Lilies in a bed at my previous house. They grew beautifully, but did take over the whole bed. I didn’t have time to tend it as well as I should have. :-)

  8. I plant zinnias every year. They are drought tolerant and look like a Monet garden. Butterflies and hummingbirds love them and they are also beautiful cut flowers.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Good morning Shirley – My mom always planted Zinnias. They are so pretty :-) I just looked them up online and they come in pink! Last summer we noticed that around our house we saw quite a lot of Hummingbirds. I was told they are attracted to red and pink colors. I think I may try planting a pot and see how they do for me. Enjoy your weekend.