While some flowers bloom all year round, others only last for a certain season. If you’re particularly fascinated with cool season flowers and you want to extend their bloom from the start of spring to the end of fall, here are some tips and tricks to help the flowers survive longer.
1. Plant flowers in batches.
This planting method is ideal for flowers that bloom only once every season. If you want your garden filled with blooms throughout the entire season, plant one batch of flowers every week or two weeks. You can also maintain the bloom in your garden by planting both early-flowering and late-flowering plants together.
2. Invest in high phosphorous fertilizers.
It is not enough that you prune your plants to encourage them to produce more flowers. They need a good boost from fertilizers rich in phosphorous instead of nitrogen. The latter is necessary for your plants to aid them in vegetative growth, which can be pretty time consuming. It might be too late for the flowers then once the season starts to change. A high phosphorous fertilizer would allow your plants to focus its energy to producing blooms. Since this is the second time the flowers bloomed, be more realistic in your expectations. These second batch of flowers may be smaller, fewer, and shorter in terms of stalk length.
3. Take time to shear your plants.
Encourage the growth of new stems and young flower buds by shearing them. Cut around one-third of the stems to give way to new ones, such as in the case of Delphinium, Foxglove, and Salvia need to have their stalks removed to make more room for young stalks to grow. Tall flower spikes love young stalks. Flowers such as Columbine, Corepsis, and Stoke’s aster, among others, need trimming down to grow new stalks, too.
4. Be generous in applying mulch.
Insulate your flowering plants well using mulch. It can keep them warm during fall or cool during spring. Be more generous in layering mulch onto flowering perennials and annuals before spring hits, or else, they might wither and die due to heat stress. Provide the plants enough shade and water and they’d bloom just fine.
5. Give your plants a break under the shade.
If your plants are in exposed areas, they would be prone to heat stress. Install shade screens, but they might ruin the overall look of your garden. That’s why you should pick a garden spot in shady areas. Shade can extend the blooming period of your flowers for weeks.
6. Extend your plants’ lifespan with extra water.
Spring flowers can survive longer if you give them more water. Make sure not to let them wilt during the day if you don’t want to cut their lifespan short. If they keep wilting and reviving at night and repeating the cycle in the days to come, the flowering would likely skip the blooming period to start making seeds.
7. Fertilize regularly.
Keep the blooms alive by giving your flowering plants fertilizers regularly. Boost their vegetative growth by feeding them nitrogen-rich fertilizers, then give them phosphorous- and potassium-rich fertilizers for root growth and rich flower production.
8. Get rid of spent flowers.
This is called deadheading, wherein you need to remove flowers that have bloomed way beyond their prime. If you don’t do this, the plants may start making seeds. Do this regularly by harvesting the flowers and using them as decorations around the house. This can help keep the blooming stage longer.
9. Give enough time for vegetative growth.
A plant that has spent enough time in its vegetative growth can grow bigger and produce more flowers. You can extend this stage by feeding your plants fertilizer rich in nitrogen and removing flower buds right away. Help your flowering plants slow down so they can also take time making flowers.
10. Choose the right soil.
More than just planting your flowering under a shade, make sure to use rich soil. While you need to feed the plants fertilizers regularly, planting them in soil rich in nutrients from manure and compost is a good start. This type of soil allows for better root growth and rich vegetative growth as well, which lead to more flowers blooming for a longer period of time.
11. Pinch the plant.
A lot of plants benefit from pinching back. This way, the plant is stimulated to grow from the side shoots, which usually results in a bushier plant. But how do you pinch back a plant? Just simply remove the top third of a stem that is located right above a node, it is usually where the plant’s leaves emerge.
12. Use annual flowers and foliage.
If you want colorful accents, using annual flowers and foliage is a great choice. It’s important to be aware what the bloom season should be. Annual flowers bloom soon after they sprout from seed and continue blooming all throughout their short single-season lifespan.
13. Reblooming plants in your landscape.
One of the best ways to lengthen the blooming season in your landscape is planting reblooming perennials and shrubs. They outperform their old-fashioned peers by blooming on both old growth and new growth. Some examples of reblooming varieties are hydrangeas, azaleas, and roses, which you will enjoy blooming from spring through fall.
14. Weeding out helps.
Try weeding out other plants that you don’t want to be there so your favorite blooms don’t need to compete for nutrients.
Inspired by Naturally Living Ideas (with permission)