Zip up your Plants!

We all need a measure of rejuvenation or “rejuvenescence” (my new favorite word) from time to time. It could be something as simple as a nap or a life changing event, maybe a once in a lifetime vacation? Plants like people need rejuvenescence from time to time. Consider an annual……a plant that lives only a year, or a season, or for the horticulturally challenged maybe a month. Maybe you’ve returned from a rejuvinating vacation to find your flowers are burned out from working so hard and are feeling unappreciated. Your landscape is telling you to “zip up your plants!” It’s easy to put some zip back into those tired annuals. Many annuals will respond to deadheading or downright lopping using a shears as pictured to the right. Cutting Zinnias or Salvias or Snapdragons as examples, halfway back, and then feeding with a water soluble fertilizer will zip up your plants! Water soluble fertilizers are great for annuals this time of year because they are quickly available and used by the plant, both through the roots and the foliage. In many cases, tired annuals when sheared and fed will look ugly for a few days, but beautiful within 14 to 21 days. This applies to annuals in hanging baskets, window boxes, pots and bedding annuals. They will look beautiful for the Labor Day holiday and beyond, well into October. September is a great month for flowering annuals with garden centers like Flowerland selling Pansies and other annuals to supplement your rejuvenated friends. Throw in some Mums, Asters, frost tolerant Ornamental Kale and some Grasses and you’ve got a late summer party! So do the Jerry Garcia thing and deadhead your plants. Don’t throw in the “trowel” on those Petunias yet, forgive me, but someone had to tell you to zip up your plants.