At this time of year, your petunias may be feeling some summer stress: The heat of the season, dry spells, stormy weather, even vacation time away from your garden can add up to a plant in need of tender loving care. Want to get more blooms in time for that late-summer backyard party? Follow these mid-season maintenance tips, and your containers and garden space can fill with lush color once more.
When the weather’s hot and dry, missing one day of watering for a hanging basket or patio pot can leave your petunia withered and looking battered. A deep, long soak at the root level will hydrate foliage and plump up those flowers within a few hours. Removing seed pods or spent flowers can clean up a sad-looking plant. Adding a dash of liquid fertilizer to your watering schedule feeds vigorous Wave petunias and pushes more energy to bloom production (more on that below).
Speaking of getting more blooms, leggy growth (branches with brittle stems and flowers only the tips) can be managed with a good pruning. Cutting back these overgrown stems by 3/4 may seem drastic at first, but in the long run, it pushes fresh growth at the base of the plant and puts more flowers along its branches.
Energize your newly maintenanced plants with a boost of liquid fertilizer. Continue to feed once a week at the dosage recommended on the plant food label. The addition of NPK (nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium) perks up flower production and fixes any yellowing on the leaves.
Within a few weeks, all your mid-season efforts will pay off with brand-new growth and more luscious flower power to enjoy your Wave petunias well into the fall season.
Find more gardening tips and projects at our Wave How-To page
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