Usually by this time of the hot, summer season, your potted plants, window boxes and ground flowering gardens are starting to show signs of wear-and-tear. If you do nothing, those areas will continue to look bad the whole rest of the season. You must assess the problems and fix them either by cutting back and re-growing or by replacing the bad plants with something else. Never assume that those dead plants need to be replaced with the exact same thing. This is your opportunity to try new things.

The quick fix would simply be to go out there and cut back the old, rough looking plants way down to almost just bare stems. I promise you that you will be amazed at how fast they will grow back and at how beautiful they will look the second time around, especially petunias. Sometimes tall growing impatiens do not come around so well the second time due to a problem they have known as “blind-eyes”. This is the area where a new branch should grow out, but doesn’t.

If you have window boxes or large pots filled with flowers, simply pull out the bad ones and exchange them with something/anything else that looks good. If your pots are filled with all annuals (as most of them usually are) replace them with other annuals. Using perennials at this time, as replacements would not be a good idea unless you plan to move them into the ground permanently later.

In your flowerbeds, replacing your dead plants with perennials would be a great idea as these plants are usually on sale as the season comes to an end and these perennials will come back next year. This is a real good way to get started turning your all-annual bed into a mixed annual and perennial bed that you can continue to add perennials, a few at a time, each year. A little careful planning of which ones and where to plant them could save you some time in the future but is not totally necessary. Sometimes it is best to simply get the perennials that you want for the future and to plant them anywhere in your garden as it is no big deal to move them around next spring…so go for it now.

Remember too that soon hardy, garden mums (chrysanthemums) will be readily available everywhere. Mums are by far the most popular fall blooming perennials on the market and they start showing up for sale in August and all the way through September. Other favorite fall bloomers include asters, Helianthus (perennial sunflowers), sedum and solidago (goldenrod).

The Waynedale News Staff

Doug Hackbarth - Broadview Florist & Greenhouses

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