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Give ‘em a Pinch – Pruning Flowers

Replace your plant stakes with pruners to keep some of your floppy flowers full of blooms and standing tall.

Pinch back new transplants of salvia, snapdragons and other annuals that tend to get leggy.  You will delay flowering a bit, but end up with more blooms and better looking plants throughout the season.

Leggy mums, asters and other late season flowers can be kept down to size with a bit of pinching.  Keep mums and asters trimmed back to 6 inches throughout June for compact plants covered with fall blooms.

Cut Autumn Joy sedum back halfway in late spring.  The flowers will be smaller atop sturdy stems, but there will be more of them resulting in a colorful fall display.

Shasta daisies, rudbeckias, and purple coneflower are a few perennials that can be pruned to create a living support.  Cut just the outer ring of stems back halfway early in the season.  The shorter stems will be stiffer, supporting the taller potentially floppy center stems.

A bit more information: Pruning also delays flowering.  Use this technique to improve plants’ growth habit and extend bloom time.  Cutting back mass plantings in waves provides support for the unpruned stems that will bloom first.  The pruned stems will bloom a bit later, extending the overall bloom time of your garden.

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