This time of summer, it’s not unusual for annual flowers, such as impatiens and petunias, to look a bit raggedy. And if you want them to give you nonstop color from now till fall, you need to lend a hand to keep the show going. Your mission is to clip off the heads of old blooms–a process called deadheading. It keeps plants strong, makes future blossoms more spectacular, and prevents the plants from making unwanted seedlings. The more you clip, the more beautiful blooms you’ll have, so get out there and clip away!
And if you’re worried that summer’s heat and humidity have gotten the best of your annual flowers, don’t give up on them yet. If you treat ’em right, most annuals will keep right on going until frost bowls ’em over. Simply cut the stems back about halfway, water them thoroughly, and then douse them with a shot of my Annual Pick-Me-Up Tonic. They’ll be back in bloom before you know it!
Here’s how to whip up a batch:
Mix 1/4 cup of beer, 1 tablespoon of clear corn syrup, 1 tablespoon of baby shampoo, 1 tablespoon of 15-30-15 plant food, and 1 gallon of water in a watering can. Slowly dribble the solution onto the soil around all of your annuals. Within two weeks, they’ll be real comeback kids–and you’ll get to enjoy their lush leaves and beautiful blooms right up until old Jack Frost makes a return appearance in mid-fall.
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