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Keeping your plants in bloom all summer

The end of summer is around the corner, but this is still one of the most common questions we get throughout the year: “How can I get my perennials and annuals to bloom continually during the summer?”

The answer, as with so many things garden-related, is that it depends on the plant. Some perennials, such as Coneflower and Shasta Daisies—and most annuals, such as Zinnia, Geranium and Pansies—need encouragement to bloom continually. Once their existing flowers begin to fade or wither, they simply will not produce as many new ones.

The key is removing those spent blossoms, those that have faded or withered. This process is called “deadheading,” and it will encourage new flowers by channeling a plant’s energy into producing more flowers instead of seeds.

There’s a real benefit to staying ahead of the game here: Not only will deadheading help your plants bloom regularly, but if you cut the flowers just after opening or while they’re budding, you can make a bouquet to enjoy indoors!