Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could maximize garden blooms in regards to both abundance and length of the flowering season? The good news is… we can!
Most fertilizers contain 3 basic macronutrients: nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, and labels will read respectively. For instance, a label reading 15-15-15 has equal amounts of these nutrients.
As soon as plants begin their bloom cycle use a specifically made fertilizer just for flowering. Flowers benefit mostly from phosphorus, so feeding plants with a higher middle number, for example, 15-30-15 can boost flower production. Be sure to alternate with fertilizers that have a more equalized ratio so that the entire plant is nourished the rest of growing season.
Organic alternatives such as compost are great for overall plant health and can help with flower production. Bone and fish meal, rock phosphate and colloidal phosphate are good sources of naturally occurring phosphorus.
Another way to promote a floriferous plant and encourage a longer season is to practice deadheading. This is where spent flowers are snipped off before they turn into seed. The plant then uses energy that would have been utilized for making seeds into producing more flowers!
Make sure your flowers are truly spent and not just thirsty. An otherwise healthy bloom can wilt if in need of water. Drying, shriveled petals that often lose their color are signs the bloom is going to seed. Keep in mind that fall blooming plants should not be deadheaded after the first frost.
Deadheading can be done just below the flower itself or can be pinched back or cut just above the first leaf below the flower. The latter works well for any plant, but is especially aesthetically pleasing for plants with spiky flowers and stalks.
We hope these tips help you to achieve the most floriferous season yet. Happy planting!