March in Your Potted Garden with Warnings!

March Diligence Will Pay Off

Winter Pots by the Potted Desert

Snaps, Pansies, Geraniums and Foxtail Fern

3 Reasons to Hold Off Planting Summer Flowers


It’s always too cold in March to plant summer flowers. In the next couple of weeks in desert communities, nights will be in the 40s, plus or minus 5 degrees depending on your elevation and micro-climates. Summer annuals need a solid start to survive. So we need warm night-time temperatures to help them grow, and then, they will thrive all summer long. They need time to develop their root system before the high heat begins.



Your winter flower should still be looking lovely, and scented annuals are filling the air with their aroma. When I go out on my back patio, I breathe in the fragrances of Allysum and Stock mixed in with Jasmines and Citrus flowers. A good pruning or deadheading will help you get them to satisfy you for another few weeks. Continue to give them a shot of fertilizer (water-soluble) every two weeks to ensure they are well-fed. Keep your watering consistent as the days warm up.


Winter Pots in Late March by the Potted Desert framed


The nurseries may have a few early summer flowers tempting your wallet, but they typically are young plants, not always well-rooted. You will have a much better selection when you wait five to eight more weeks. Also, landscapers will be buying out the first round of plants from local growers and nurseries. Let them have first dibs and wait for the second round as the nights warm up.


>> And if you must plant some flowers now, look for “shoulder season” flowers and plants in your nurseries. Check out a shopping list HERE.Shoulder Season Plant List by The Potted Desert

Plants such as Dianthus, Marigolds and Osteospermum (African Daisies) might be just what you need while we wait for summer color.

Read more about shoulder season plants HERE.

Add to your calendar

>> April 18-25: Shop for Summer Annuals

Monthly Calendar


Happy Potting!

Marylee’s book, Riley’s Garden Oasis will help you learn how to begin a desert container garden and entertain you too!

Follow Riley’s journey as she moves from Vermont to the desert, seeking a new lifestyle that warms her soul.