It's June, it's HOT, the flowers are blooming, and with a little bit of effort, you can keep your garden looking fantastic for the coming months.
Two things that will encourage your flowers to bloom all the way through the summer are deadheading, (removing the spent flower heads) and feeding.
Why do we deadhead?
To produce more flowers
If you don't remove the dead flowers, then the plant will start to produce seeds. This in turn diverts energy from flower production to seed production, and consequently fewer flowers are produced. With some plants, such as sweet peas, the switch from flowering to seed production can be very quick, so without regular deadheading, your soon lose your display
Flowers that are dying back are prone to fungal infections such as botrytis (grey mould) This is especially the case when the weather is damp and humid. If infected material is not removed, then the entire plants can succumb, and the infection can spread to other plants around it.
Dead flowers are not attractive!
How to deadhead
The aim is to remove the flower without leaving an unattractive bare stalk.
- If the flower is on its own individual stem, without leaves, for example, with Cosmos, then cut the flower and stem down to the base of the plant.
- If the flower is on a leafy stem, for example, with roses, then make the cut just above a pair of healthy leaves.
The little snippers in the above photo make light work of removing spent flower heads on soft herbaceous plants.
Feeding your plants
Flowering plants, especially those in plant pots really appreciate regular feeding over the flowering period. Liquid feeds high in potassium, such as tomato feed will boost flowering and fruiting. This is useful for both ornamental flowers and fruiting vegetables, such as courgettes and tomatoes.
Always read the instuctions and don't over concentrate the feed as this can be counter-productive.