Annual and perennial flowers add color to spring, summer and fall gardens. In spring and early summer, the flowers usually look their best. After two or three months in the bed, midsummer heat can cause flowers to wilt, and as the season progresses the flowers may begin to look tired and unkempt. Reviving the flower garden so it goes into the last few months of the season in peak form is vital if you want healthy plants and attractive landscaping.
Remove all wilted blossoms from the plants. Pinch off the old flower heads ¼ inch down the stem behind the flower. Cut off entire flower stalks once all the flowers have wilted and no more buds are present. The removal of spent blooms, called deadheading, encourages further flower production in most plants.
Trim back overgrown or leggy plants. Pinch or cut back stems that have become overgrown. Remove one-third to one-half of most plants to spur on new, healthy growth and create fuller plants. Remove any dead or damaged stems or leaves entirely.
Provide adequate moisture to the bed. Check the soil moisture twice weekly, particularly during the heat of summer. Water as needed to maintain moist soil to a 6-inch depth. A once or twice weekly deep watering is preferable to daily light waterings.
Remove all weeds from the bed. Pull up weeds by the roots. Slide a trowel into the soil next to the weed then use the trowel to lever out the entire plant. Replenish or add mulch to a 2-inch depth to inhibit further weed growth.
Fertilize the flowers. Apply 2 cups of 5-10-5 fertilizer per 100 square feet of bed, or apply a fertilizer formulated for the specific plant type at the label recommended rate. Work the fertilizer into the soil between the plants and avoid getting the fertilizer in direct contact with leaves and roots, as this can cause burning.