Growing Annuals BHT115

Learn to Identify, Grow and Use Annuals

Annuals are plants which are able to grow from seed to mature plant, flower and produce seed all within the space of one year. They are horticulturally valuable crops, grown commercially as cut flowers, as seedlings or as colourful pot plants. In home gardens, public parks and other places, annuals are grown widely all over the world, primarily because they can provide a quick and spectacular, often colourful display. Annuals can help to keep gardens or parks looking their best, by filling gaps between perennials or by disguising the messy foliage of bulbs as they seasonally die-off.

This eight-lesson course reveals the secrets of how to identify annuals, what to grow and when to grow each variety. It covers soil improvement, pest control, irrigation, propagation, greenhouse growing, hydroponics and much more.

A useful course for nurserymen, florists, landscapers, home gardeners and horticulturists.

  • Become an expert on Herbaceous Annual Flowering Plants
  • Learn to identify, cultivate and propagate annuals, for bedding displays, potted colour or cut flowers
  • Work in a nursery, botanical garden or cut flower farm
  • Start a business or follow a passion


Course Structure

This subject has 8 lessons as follows:

1.  Introduction

  • Scope and Nature
  • Naming Plants
  • Species, hybrids, cultivars.
  • Plant Families
  • Pronouncing plant names
  • Flower structure and basic botany
  • Information sources
  • Caring for Cut Flowers

2.  Culture

  • selection of plants suited to the situation
  • preparing a site (soils, cultivation etc)
  • propagation
  • planting
  • mulching
  • protecting and caring for establishing plants
  • control of problems (eg. pests, diseases, weeds)

3.  Propagation

  • Methods of propagating annuals.
  • Seed sowing
  • Pricking out seedlings
  • Propagation of selected varieties of annuals.

4.  Hydroponics.

  • Annuals in hydroponics
  • How plants grow
  • Diffeerent Hydroponic systems explained
  • When and why to choose hydroponics
  • Hydroponic techniques for selected annuals

5.  Pest and Disease

  • Identifying problems (disease, pest, environmental, nutritional)
  • Treating problems

6.  Irrigation

  • Irrigation objectives
  • Soil Moisture
  • Maintaining water levels
  • Watering
  • When to irrigate
  • Identifying over or under watering

7.  Greenhouses and Bedding

  • Greenhouse design and construction
  • Growing in a greenhouse
  • Environmental factors that affect growth
  • Controlling flower production
  • Heating and cooling
  • Flower Bed Layouts -pure and impure
  • Types of plantings
  • Bedding schemes
  • Annuals with scent
  • Annuals with colourful foliage
  • Selecting annuals according to height
  • Flower judging

8.  Harvest, Post Harvest and Quality.

  • Harvesting flowers
  • Flower deterioration
  • Post harvest
  • Shelf life
  • Factors affecting post harvest life
  • Post harvest treatments
  • Grading standards
  • Conditioning for market
  • Packaging
  • Harvesting specific annuals (snapdragon, Bellis, Carnation, Calendula, Carnation, Chrysanthemum, Larkspur, Delphinium, Cosmos, Gypsophila, Iberis, Marigold, Poppy, Statice, Stock, Sweet Pea, Violet)

Course Duration:  100 hours

Learn about the Many Different Types of Annuals

Annuals are plants which grow from a seed to a mature plant, produce flowers, and then seed - all within the space of one year. They are generally grown with the specific purpose of providing a bright flower display. Some vegetables and herbs are also annuals and can be incorporated into a display, for their flowers or leaves. Although most annuals come into flower during the summer months, there are annuals which provide spring, autumn or winter colour.

Many cultivated annuals are grown either in containers (potted colour), in garden beds (bedding plants or floral displays), or as cut flowers.

If you are disappointed that your annuals seem to grow well and look healthy but they do not flower well or quickly, then there are a few things you should be aware of: 

  • Don’t just rely on plant labels - labels printed in a country may be found on plants in lots of different parts of the same country; and the best advice in a sunny coastal location may be quite different to a shaded hilly or mountainous site in the same country.
  • Your plants may be stressed with too much or too little water around the roots.
  • Your plants may be exposed to unsuitable air temperatures.
  • The intensity of light could be inappropriate.
  • The ratio of daylight to darkness might be inappropriate.
  • The soil fertility may be poor, in which case they may need feeding.
  • The roots may be burnt by too much nutrition.
  • You are growing the wrong plant for the location or time of year - some plants only flower at a certain time of year, and can’t easily be manipulated to flower any earlier.

Learn to Time Your Planting 

The timing of annual seed sowing is very important. Some annual seeds need cooler temperatures and may need to be covered and kept in the dark to germinate whereas other seeds need to be exposed to light and sown only on the surface of soil mixes. Some annuals prefer heat to germinate and grow, other varieties like it cool to grow. Some need heat to start them off but then they want to continue to grow over the cooler months. Most of this relates to the timing in a seasonal year a particular variety likes to grow and flower. 

If you do not sow seeds at the correct time, the plants will wither and die, simply not flower, or run to seed. For example, Primulas (Primrose) sown in spring and planted out into the garden as seedlings in summer will quickly turn yellow and run to seed with the hot temperatures. The same goes for many vegetables that are cool season ones planted out of season in summer - they run to seed very quickly before producing a good crop. 


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Prices in Australian Dollars

PlanAust. PriceOverseas Price
A 1 x $822.80  1 x $748.00
B 2 x $438.90  2 x $399.00

Note: Australian prices include GST. 
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