As we enter late Summer the ever popular mum has become available. Many times local gardeners will comment how compact and full of blooms are mums are. How do you do that? Mine Don’t look like that? The trick is to pinch the plant back a couple times during the growing season. If you see 6-inch sprouts cut them back to 3 inches. Do the same with only the new growth as it appears. Pinch no later than the first week of July. This will prevent tall, floppy, sparse blooms.
Did you know that Pansy and viola planted in the Fall are extremely likely to over winter giving you color in the garden early without needing to prepare wet, slightly frozen soil? Why don’t the ones planted in the spring do as well?? Pansy’s Violas, Snapdragons, and Dianthus are cool loving crops. The stress of surviving the heat and drought of summer puts them at a severe disadvantage in the winter hardiness department.
Have you scolded your poinsettia in past years by putting it in the closet in order to get the colorful bracts to return? Getting a poinsettia to rebloom is not as much “rocket science” as some have made it out to be! The “horticultural science” is that the plant MUST mimic mother nature’s natural light patterns. It knows when to bloom by sensing the change from long summer days to the shorter winter days. If you have the plant in a popular living area in your home it is certainly going to get light from a light bulb. (IT DOES NOT TAKE MUCH) From the later weeks in September thru the early weeks in October make sure the plant is somewhere it gets only natural sunlight patterns. Absolutely no interruption from artificial light!!. Once the veins in the top leaves have started to change color the mission is accomplished, it will bloom regardless of its location following that.