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🌸🌺Perennials for Endless Summer Blooms🌸🌺

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Our local region offers a fertile ground for gardeners aiming to enjoy continuous summer blooms. Perennials are a fantastic choice for this endeavor, as they return year after year, often with minimal maintenance. However, achieving endless summer blooms requires some strategic cutting back to encourage new growth and continuous flowering. Here’s a guide to which perennials you should cut back NOW for a vibrant and colorful garden all summer long.



1. 🌺Coreopsis (Tickseed)🌸

Coreopsis is a robust perennial that thrives in a wide range of soils. These plants produce bright yellow blooms that can last from late spring to early fall. To extend their blooming period, cut back the spent flowers regularly (deadheading). In mid-summer, a more substantial cutback, reducing the plant by about one-third, can rejuvenate the foliage and stimulate a fresh wave of blooms.


2. 🏵Salvia (Meadow Sage)🌺

Salvia is beloved for its spikes of deep blue, purple, or pink flowers. After the initial bloom, typically in late spring, cut back the flower spikes once they start to fade. This encourages a second bloom cycle. If the plant starts to look leggy, don’t hesitate to cut it back by half to promote bushier growth and more blooms.


3. 🌺Nepeta (Catmint)**

Nepeta offers aromatic foliage and a long blooming period, often from late spring through summer. After the first flush of flowers begins to fade, cut the plant back by half. This practice not only tidies up the plant but also stimulates new growth and a second wave of flowers.


4. 🌸🏵Echinacea (Coneflower)🌺

Echinacea is a hardy perennial with daisy-like flowers that attract pollinators. Deadheading individual spent flowers can prolong blooming. For a more significant impact, you can cut back the whole plant by one-third after the first bloom cycle. This can encourage side shoots and extend the flowering period into late summer.



5. 🏵Phlox Paniculata (Garden Phlox) 🌸🌺

Garden Phlox is a staple in many perennial gardens, known for its clusters of fragrant flowers. To keep phlox blooming all summer, remove the spent flower clusters promptly. Additionally, cutting back the plant by about one-third in early summer can reduce mildew issues and encourage a second set of blooms.


6. 🏵Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum)🌺

Shasta Daisies are classic summer perennials with bright white petals and yellow centers. After the initial blooms fade, deadhead the spent flowers regularly. In midsummer, cutting the entire plant back by one-third can encourage a fresh flush of blooms and maintain a neat appearance.


7. 🌺Geranium (Cranesbill)🌸

Hardy geraniums are versatile perennials that bloom profusely. After the first round of blooms, cut the plants back hard, almost to the ground. This drastic cut encourages a new growth spurt and a second round of blooms.


8. 🌸Rudbeckia (Black-eyed Susan)🏵

Black-eyed Susans are known for their cheerful yellow flowers with dark centers. Deadheading spent flowers regularly will keep the plant blooming. In mid-summer, cutting the stems back by a third can help maintain a compact shape and encourage continued blooming.


Tips for Cutting Back Perennials


1. **Timing**: The best time to cut back perennials is immediately after the first major bloom period. This is typically in late spring to early summer, depending on the specific plant and local climate conditions.


2. **Tools**: Use clean, sharp pruning shears to make clean cuts. This helps prevent disease and promotes faster healing.


3. **Technique**: Make cuts just above a set of leaves or a branching point to encourage bushier growth. Remove any spent flowers (deadheading) regularly to direct the plant’s energy into producing new blooms rather than seeds.


4. **Feeding and Watering**: After cutting back, water the plants well and consider a light application of fertilizer to support new growth. Mulching can help retain moisture and suppress weeds.


By strategically cutting back these perennials, gardeners here in central Ohio, in newly designated zone 6, can enjoy a garden that bursts with color all summer long. Not only does this practice promote continuous blooming, but it also keeps the plants healthy and vigorous. Happy gardening!

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