Revive Fading Annuals
Gardeners usually expect an annual to bloom all summer… and that wish generally does come true. However, some species, such as sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima) and edging lobelia (Lobelia erinus), begin to falter in August or may even stop blooming, especially if the summer is very hot. The usual trick for stimulating new bloom on any plant – pinching out the faded blooms – doesn’t work here: these plants produce too many tiny flowers it makes individual deadheading possible. Instead, as soon as they start to bloom less, simply cut the whole plant back by half. Such a radical pruning stimulates the plant to completely regenerate and it will soon be in full bloom and as attractive as ever.