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Time for a Summer Tune-up!

Perennials to Prune for Rebloom
It’s late June when not much is blooming (thankfully, my hydrangeas ARE in bloom), and early-blooming perennials are looking pretty bad.  But many of them will perk up, put out new leaves and even rebloom if you just give them a little attention – NOW.

Above are two prime candidates for pruning – the Salvia ‘May Night’ in the foreground and the Tradescantia in the upper left. Both will rebloom nicely if given a haircut after their first bloom.  In the case of the Tradescantia (common name Spiderwort), cut them back hard to remove the really ugly foliage.  New leaves will then emerge.

Perennials to Prune Prevent Flopping, Improve Shape

Tall asters like the ones above are notorious floppers, but if you cut them back now – before the end of June – they’ll be shorter, bushier, and bloom about a week later.  And most importantly, they’ll stand up on their own, so it’s well worth the effort!

Tall Sedums like this ‘Autumn Joy’ also benefit from an early summer haircut, especially if they’re leggy from getting a bit too much shade or overdue for dividing.

To learn MUCH more about care of perennials, especially how to make them look their best, consult The Well Tended Perennial Garden by Tracy DiSabato-Aust.

by Susan Harris

More from Larry Hurley!  He covered summer tune-up of hanging baskets, annuals and herbs in this blog story from last summer.

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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