Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Time to Prune Your Potted Annuals

Posted By on Wed, Feb 15, 2012 at 9:00 AM

In order to encourage our annuals and blooming perennials to provide us with an abundant show through May, it is a good idea to do some selective pruning in Mid-February and March. You are free to prune back alyssum and lobelia but be warned that if we get a freeze before they fill back out they might not make it. When you cut back you want to make sure you leave some green to promote growth. I prefer to weave my hand (sort of like a chunky hair weave) through the top 1/3 of the plant and cut back all the under growth. This leaves plenty of plant to initiate new growth and allow for protection.

Petunias Will Benefit from Selective Pruning
  • Petunias Will Benefit from Selective Pruning
Petunias benefit greatly from pruning but do not cut back the entire plant at once. Select about 1/3 of the plant to cut back to approximately 4” from the base (but judge this by any leaf buds — if no leaf buds cut back to the first set higher up the plant). Then in a couple weeks you can do the other 1/3rd and a couple weeks the last 1/3rd. Petunias are particularly hunger so they need fertilizing regularly and be sure that when you deadhead you remove the flower stem as well. This will help keep the plant from getting leggy.

Sign up for our monthly gardening e-news and garden alerts! For more information on potted gardens in the desert, visit The Contained Gardener. Have a question? Email Marylee.

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