Petunias Flowers pruning

Caring for your annuals to keep a continuous flower show

May 10, 2014 – 09:43 am

My deck flower boxes with

While an annual flower lives to bloom, if not taken care of properly, like any plant it will eventually stop flowering and perhaps die. Proper watering, fertilizing, and weeding are some of the keys to annual flower success. In this section, we talk about how to keep your annuals healthy and happy.

Along with watering, weeding, feeding, pinching, and supporting your annual flowers, always keep a look out for pests. Check the undersides of leaves for insects, look for diseased flowers, and watch for animal damage. However, keep in mind that the best form of pest control is you taking a moment each time you’re in the garden to check for beginning problems.

Watering

Annual flowers need a consistent supply of water to keep flowering. Early in the season when plants are small, water frequently since young roots are small and close to the soil surface where they can dry out quickly. After a few weeks, your transplants and seedlings will have large enough root systems that you can start watering more deeply and less frequently. This encourages the roots to go deeper into the soil, where they will be less likely to dry out during drought periods in summer.

If Mother Nature is giving your plants about 1 to 2 inches of water a week, that will be adequate. But unless you have rain gauge, you won’t be able to tell how much water your plants are actually receiving. A better way to gauge soil moisture is to do the knuckle test. Stick your finger in the soil up to the second knuckle (the one closest to your hand). If the soil feels dry at the depth of the tip of your finger, it’s time to water.

When you water established plants, let the moisture soak down at least 6 inches into the soil. Dig around the plants to be sure it’s sinking in and not running off. During hot dry periods you may have to check your in-ground flowers every few days. For container-grown annual flowers, watering may be a daily ritual, but plants will still grow fine if watered every other day as long as they have enough soil to hold the water.

Weeding

Weeding your annual flowers goes hand in hand with watering. Weeds not only compete with your annual flowers for space and nutrients, they like to steal water from plants as well. Weeds tend to be more aggressive than most annual flowers, so you’ll have to be on your guard to keep them controlled. Many newer hybrid annual flowers are so intent on flowering up a storm, they don’t put much energy into growing strong plants.

Weed your annual flower beds early and often. But be careful not to disturb the tender young roots of the annual flowers. After a few weeks, once the flowers are established, mulch the beds with a 2- to 3-inch-thick layer of organic mulch, such as untreated grass clippings, bark mulch, or pine straw. The mulch will prevent weeds from growing, preserve soil moisture, and give your garden a decorative look.

While we don’t often think of weeding container gardens, weed seeds can blow in to large containers in particular, creating some unexpected visitors by summer. Be diligent at removing weeds in containers because there is even less soil mass, less water, and fewer nutrients for your annual flowers to share with these interlopers.

Source: home.tipsdiscover.com


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Petunias found on web

1. Water – Flowers need about 3 cm of water per week and during the hottest summer temperatures will require more water more frequently. The best time to water is between 6:00 and 9:00 AM.
If possible, use a soaker hose to water your flowering plants. Keep in mind, hanging baskets and pots tend to dry out more quickly and will require more frequent watering. Overhead watering using spray hoses or sprinklers should be avoided, because it can increase the risk of diseases such as botrytis or grey mold.
2.Deadheading – Dead or dying flowers should be removed as soon as possible to prevent seed production

Water them well in this heat

Pkants in pots need a lot of water when it gets hot.
I had the same Q about leggy petunias.
Here are instructions about pruning petunias:
" Sometimes these plants can become ‘leggy’ or when they have lots of stem and less flowers and leaves. These plants are not very attractive and can be refreshed by cutting the stem all the back and allowing it to re-grow. You can prevent your petunia plants from becoming ‘leggy’ by pruning back growing tips. To do this, find the point on each stem, usually located near the tip, where new growth is coming from and pinch that tip off


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