Gardening Tip ~ Give Your Perennials A Hair Cut

1 min to read

Submitted by Rahe Richards, a member of the Richmond Hill Garden & Horticultural Society

Some perennials start to bloom earlier than they are supposed to either due to early summer weather or great soil where they are planted.

Perennials like Sedum, Chrysanthemums (mum), and Asters are meant to flower in the fall, but they start to bloom in the summer. To discourage that early bloom, between mid-June to end of June, give them a haircut by “shaving off” the set buds. This means that if your plants, or even just some stems, start to grow buds too early, you should trim off the buds which will delay flowering by 2-3 weeks. Not only will they bloom later in the fall, but they will also branch out and make heavier, more compact plants.

You can also pinch back the stems of such plants slightly below where the buds had been. Do this once or twice in the early summer to promote bushier growth and more blooms. You should cut plants like asters back in the winter after the foliage has died, or you may choose to leave them through the winter to add some off-season interest to your garden.

Other flowers like perennial geraniums, Shasta daisy, campanula, columbine, and coreopsis can give you a second set of blooms. After the bloom, cut the whole plant down to about six inches from the ground.  This will allow them to grow again and prolong the season for flowering.

Pruning a rose bush can also provide more stems to grow and each new stem will have more flowering heads. This is something one does in the spring.

An easy method to get more flowers for a longer summer set of blooms is to deadhead all your plants.  This can be done to annual geraniums, roses, gerbera, lantana, and other flowering plants regularly throughout the summer.  Deadheading a plant, simply means removing the dead flowers from the plants rather than waiting for them to fall off. You’ll be guaranteed to see more blooms.

Here’s to more flower blossoms!