Flower gardeners strive to maintain the good health of their plants while encouraging an abundant crop of flower blossoms. Healthy, hearty and plentiful flowers provide fragrance and striking color to the landscape. Sufficient watering and fertilizing is necessary to produce a copious crop of blossoms. While each flower type may have its own needs, there are basic flower gardening tips that apply to most flowering plants.
Sanitize Gardening Tools
Sanitize the gardening tools prior to pruning, by wiping down the blades with rubbing alcohol. This is especially true for rose bushes, which are highly susceptible to fungal and bacterial diseases introduced by unclean gardening tools. It is possible to spread the disease within one plant. For example, if you cut off a diseased stem of a rose bush, and then prune another area on the same bush without cleaning the blades, the infection spreads.
Take a Soil Sample
Before you can adequately supplement the soil with additives or fertilizer, it’s necessary to understand the current condition of the soil. Soil needs vary by plant, and what soil may be excellent for one type of flower, may be lacking for another. The local county extension programs or the gardening center can assist you in taking a soil sample. After receiving the test results, you’ll be able to calculate how to amend the soil, depending on the needs of the plant you select.
Irrigate in the Morning
Water the flowers in the morning, when irrigating. Watering in the morning allows the plant enough time to dry before nightfall. The cold night air, combined with the wet moist soil and plant, promotes mildew and other plant diseases.
Remove flowers from the plant before they begin to wilt. If you want the plant to go to seed, you will leave the flowers on the bush. To encourage more flower growth, snip off the flowers before they begin to fade. Depending on the plant type, if there are several buds growing on one stem, is sometimes advisable to remove all but the healthiest looking buds. Leaving them all on the stem will result in the buds competing against each other for essential nutrients.
Cut Above a Leaflet
When taking a cutting for a floral arrangement, cut the flower stem above a leaflet, if possible. Cutting above the leaflet encourages new growth, resulting in several new flower stalks. Cut the flowers from the plant before the bud has completely opened. Some buds, such as a rose bud will not open if taken when it is too immature.