Prolong the bloom season for annuals and perennials by being a diligent “deadhead.”
Here’s why: Once plants blossom, they shift into survival mode, using all their energy to create seeds for next year’s life-cycle. When you deadhead – cut off the spent blooms – the plant shifts back into flower production. And that’s good news for homeowners.
Use very sharp pruners and selectively cut about one-fourth of an inch above a sprouting branch. For disease prevention, dip your pruners in rubbing alcohol between cuts to sterilize them.
Roses – What a great reward to know that cutting roses for your home actually helps them bloom more frequently. Cut long stems, making a diagonal cut about one-fourth inch above a set of five leaves. This is the most likely place where new growth will occur.
As for knock-out roses, they like to be severely pruned between flushes of blossoms. Rather than cutting off each spent blossom, cut about eight inches below the bloom heads. You’ll see great results.
Remember that a handful of fertilizer periodically can also stimulate growth and repeated blossoming. You need to eat; so do your plants.
It takes a little work, but the best time is early morning when it’s still less hot outside. At the same time, water your annuals and perennials, giving them a good soaking about once a week.
With a little maintenance, you’ll reap great rewards from your seasonal annuals and perennials.