Annuals can add a burst of color to your garden wherever you need it -- whether your garden is an extensive country plot or a set of containers on a city balcony.
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These are actually tender perennials typically grown as annuals. The upright forms make wonderful bedding plants; the pendulous ones look magnificent in hanging pots. The tubers should be planted in spring in rich soil or potting medium, with the concave side up and just the bottom half of the tuber buried. Once growth begins, apply 22-14-14 fertilizer every three weeks until flower buds begin to form. At that time, switch to 0-10-10 fertilizer, applied on the same schedule. Pick off flowers as they fade. When the plants begin to turn yellow in fall, withhold water. When the tops are completely dry, dig the tubers from the soil, and remove the tops. Dry them in the sun for a few days, then dust the tubers with sulfur powder or another fungicide to prevent rot. Store in paper containers in a cool, dry, dark place until planting time in spring.
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