Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day

Revive Fading Annuals

Edging Lobelia (Lobelia erinus)
Edging lobelia
août 10b
Sweet Alyssum

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.

Garden writer and blogger, author of more than 60 gardening books, the laidback gardener, Larry Hodgson, lives and gardens in Quebec City, Canada. The Laidback Gardener blog offers more than 2,500 articles to passionate home gardeners, always with the goal of demystifying gardening and making it easier for even novice gardeners. If you have a gardening question, enter it in Search: the answer is probably already there!

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