You spend a lot on your flowers and dedicate a lot of time to planting and watering your garden. You want to enjoy its beautiful blooms as much as you can, so how can you get the most bang for your buck? Believe it or not, there are little tricks you can use to keep your annuals and perennials blooming all season long.
The first and one of the most important things to look at is where you’re planting your annuals. Geraniums are one of the most popular annuals that people use because they have great big blooms and are low maintenance. However, without sufficient sunlight, geraniums will stop blooming. The plant will keep on living, but will just be very green. So when you choose your annuals and perennials, make sure you are choosing flowers that require the type of light you have. If you don’t have a lot of sun, you’ll want to choose a begonias or impatiens rather than a geranium.
Once you have selected your plants, you’ll need to make sure you know how to take care of them. The biggest trick to use to encourage re-blooming is deadheading or pruning. Deadheading is when you remove the flowers that are done blooming. Plants have flowers for one reason, to attract pollinators. The goal in a plant’s life is to reproduce and create seeds to do so. By deadheading flowers, you are preventing plants from going to seed, thus keeping their need to produce flowers.
When it comes to pruning, each plant is different, and even annuals and perennials differ. For instance, geraniums need to be popped off where the stem meets the stalk of the flower while marigolds just need to have the spent flower heads popped off. Some newer varieties of petunias claim to not need to be deadheaded. While this is true, due to the science behind breeding those plants, deadheading can be done to help keep the energy of the flower towards making new blooms and to keep a cleaner appearance.
Annuals are great, because they will bloom all season long. Perennials are great for coming back year after year, but they only bloom during a specific point during the season. There are a few varieties that you can trick into re-blooming for you by deadheading them as the blooms start to die off. This will prevent the perennials from producing seeds, much like with annuals, so they are forced into setting a second set of blooms. Some perennials that this trick will work on includes coneflowers, Shasta daisies, gaillardia, delphiniums, spiderworts, coreopsis and yarrow.
Other than pruning and planting, your basic care of the plants can help with re-blooming as well. Making sure your plants are getting enough water will help them from going through any type of stress that will distract them from their purpose. They put a lot of energy into making these blooms, so by giving them enough water, they will thank you by continuing to bloom and looking beautiful.
The final trick to getting your flowers to re-bloom all season long is fertilizer. This will help give them nutrients to keep the blooms coming and look flush and healthy. The best fertilizer to use for the purpose of creating more flowers is one with a high amount of phosphate, the middle number. One we recommend to our customers is Miracle Gro’s Bloom Booster which is 10-52-10.
As long as you keep your plants watered, fed and cleaned, you will enjoy blooms all summer long.