Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Pinch To Grow On

Autumn Joy - before
If you have fall-blooming plants (sedum, chrysanthemums, aster) you need to pinch them back until July 24 so that they will get nice and bushy and give lots of blooms.

Here's a before and after of an Autumn Joy Sedum.  It might be hard to tell, but what I'm shooting for is a fuller and bushier plant.  Everywhere that I pinch off something it will put out multiple shoots which will lead to more blooms in the fall.
Autumn Joy - after

Just pinch off a bit of the growth that is getting 'leggy' and it will come back better than before.  I'm only talking about a couple of inches - nothing drastic.  Then in another 2 weeks pinch it back again.  About July 24 (here in the Mountain West) it's time to let them grow!  Your diligence in pinching back will result in lots more fall blooms.
Aster - before

This aster is a late summer to early fall bloomer and I like to get lots of blossoms.  I just take my garden shears and cut off about 2-3 inches every couple of weeks.  It gets fuller every time.
Aster - after

If you can see past the glare you'll see that the aster is now shorter.  You can see the support ring that was barely visible in the before picture.

Here's one of the chrysanthemums that I started earlier this spring as a stub.  It's getting really bushy and thinks that it will be ready to bloom soon.  So I was cruel and cut off or pinched off the buds so that it will wait and give me that 'really fully covered with blossoms' look that I want.

Look closely and you'll see the little rebel buds that I was talking about.  I'm watching closely and pinching off before they even show color.

I usually toss the trimmings at the back of the garden to let them become free compost.
 Show Off Time


Here are some beautiful dahlias that I rescued from Lowe's discounted plants.  I deadheaded them and gave them a lovely home in a partly shady area.  A little root stimulator and they look terrific.  3 dahlias for $4.50!
Happy in their new home!

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