How to Increase Blooms


Flowering plants in the garden add welcome splashes of color and interest to your landscape. Often as summer progresses there are fewer blooms on the plant even though the foliage is still green and healthy. Increasing the blooming depends on the plant. Some produce buds and flowers for only a short time. Other plants bloom continuously until autumn but may need some encouragement to remain as prolific as they were in early summer. You can increasing the number of blooms for both annual and perennial flowers.

Step 1

Remove spent flowers as soon as the petals begin to wither. Cut flower stalks off just above the next bud or at the base if there are no other buds. Pinch off spent blossoms from bushier plants ¼ inch beneath the flower head.

Step 2

Pinch off any seed heads that have formed. Avoid letting the plant go to seed as once seed is produced, the plants stops setting new buds.

Step 3

Remove dead and damaged leaves. Damaged leaves take nutrients away from the rest of the plant, inhibiting blooming. Removal also helps prevent disease.

Step 4

Fertilize the flower beds with a high-phosphorus feed. Phosphorous encourages blooming, while nitrogen encourages foliage growth. Apply 1 cup of 5-10-5 fertilizer per 100 square feet of flower bed.

Step 5

Follow the correct cultural practices for the type of plant, as flowers struggling for water or sun do not set healthy buds. Provide enough moisture to keep the bed evenly moist but not soggy.

Step 6

Ensure that plants are receiving the correct amount of sun. Shade plants receiving too much with a trellis, and consider transplanting or trimming back shade-giving bushes around plants receiving too little sun.

Tips and Warnings

  • Apply fertilizer 5 inches away from the base of the plants. Direct contact with fertilizer will burn and damage the plant. When pinching off blooms dispose of the removed plant material. It may harbor disease if left in the bed.

Things You'll Need

  • Shears
  • Fertilizer


  • University of Missouri Extension: Deadheading
  • Oregon State University Extension: Fertilizing Your Garden
Keywords: increasing blooms, flower care, pinching back plants

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.