Q: For the past four years, I have purchased plants that I thought would be prolific all-summer bloomers: ‘Stella de Oro’ daylilies, carpet roses and the ‘Nearly Wild’ rose. While they bloom abundantly in the early summer, it is only for maybe three weeks. I’ve seen these plants bloom all summer in other people’s yards.
I confess that I don’t really fertilize them because they look so healthy in early summer that I forget. Any solutions?
A: I think the lack of fertilizer is what has you stymied. Blooming requires a tremendous amount of energy from a plant, whether an annual, a perennial or a shrub.
Most bloom on new growth, meaning they have to sprout new limbs and leaves constantly to supply the resources that flowers require. Consistent fertilizing forces lots of new growth onto a plant and the new growth leads to constant blooming.
Additionally, regularly removing spent flowers and seed pods keeps the plant focused on providing beauty for your garden. If you are forgetful about feeding your plants, next year use one of the slow-release fertilizers like Osmocote, Nursery Special, etc. These products are specially coated so they release fertilizer throughout the growing season.
Black-eyed Stella reblooming daylily
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