July Perennial Maintenance
July Perennial Maintenance
July 6, 2012 | | Gardening Tips, Perennials, Plants, Problem Solving
Many of our customers have perennial gardens that are heavily planted with early-summer flowers. Once this first flush of plants has finished, they wonder how to make their gardens look colorful and neat the rest of the season. Here are some tips for taking care of perennial gardens in July.
- Deadhead peonies by clipping old flower stalks down into the foliage. As long as the leaves are looking good, let them stay as is the rest of the summer. Once the foliage browns or gets powdery mildew, cut them to the ground.
- Deadhead early flowering daylilies such as Stella D’oro by cutting the old flower stems down near the base of the plant. Fertilize these right after deadheading to encourage new flowering.
- Cut early flowering plants such as Nepeta (cat mint), perennial Salvia, bleeding heart, and Jacob’s ladder either by shearing in half or cutting right to the ground. Some of these plants will bloom again and others will put out fresh, attractive foliage. In general, you can do this with any perennial that flowers before June 15th. Don’t cut woody plants such as lavender all the way to the ground, however.
- After shearing or cutting early perennials down, you may be left with additional space in the garden. This is the perfect location for popping in a few annuals to provide color for the rest of the summer. Plant annuals with some time-release fertilizer such as Osmocote.
- If you have early-flowering perennials such as Iris that spread, this is a good time to edit them down to make room for later-flowering plants. In the summer we still have a good selection of perennials so you’re sure to find flowers that will work in your landscape.
- After planting new perennials or annuals, be sure to water them every two or three days in hot, sunny weather. Once they get established, taper the frequency of irrigation, but increase the length of time, so that plants are getting watered deeply less often.
- Most perennials don’t need frequent applications of fertilizer. An organic fertilizer applied early in the summer is usually sufficient for perennial plants. The following varieties, however, benefit from a mid-summer feeding: daylilies, Russian sage, oriental and Asiatic lilies, roses. If using a synthetic fertilizer on these plants be sure to water them well first…never fertilize a thirsty plant!
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