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7/30/2010 12:00

Contact: Margret
(860) 496-9624 x6220

Fast and Practical Ideas to Increase Your Flower Power

It's midsummer and you are enjoying your garden, but there are ways to make your flowers look even better. White Flower Farm ( suggests these easy and effective ways to increase your "flower power."

** Remove faded flowers on all blooming plants. Removing the flowers prevents energy from going into seed production and instead promotes the formation of new flowers.

** Pinch back plants that have become long and straggly. If the annuals in your window box need a haircut, don’t be afraid to get out your garden scissors. Don't give plants a buzz cut though, as harsh cut backs may take too long to outgrow.

** Water during extended dry periods! This may seem like common sense, but check your plants to see if the soil is dry. Most plants need the equivalent of an inch of water a week, more in very hot weather. Many plants are shallow-rooted and cannot find enough moisture to grow and flower if the soil is dry several inches down. A healthy plant that has enough moisture will produce more flowers.

** Try to avoid watering during the heat of midday – water drops on delicate blossoms may cause them to burn in the hot sun. It's best to direct water at the soil, not the plant.

** During hot summer weather when you are watering more often, nutrients can leach out of the soil and need to be replaced. Fertilizers that are high in phosphorus are a good choice for blossom building, as this nutrient builds roots and promotes flowers. Choose a fertilizer with a higher middle number, such as 5-10-5. Fertilizers list the ratio of the 3 major elements in this order: nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). Always use fertilizers at the rate recommended on the package label.

** Remove leaves and stems that are brown or diseased. Old foliage may harbor fungal diseases that can spread to healthy parts of the plant. Remember, a healthy plant produces more flowers!

** Summer is a great time to buy flowering plants on sale – add some color now where you see holes in your garden! Also, it's a good time to look for plants online and read through catalogs to see what you might want to order for fall delivery. We are partial to ours, of course, which you can browse at

** Watch for pests or the start of disease. Hand pick Japanese beetles, asparagus beetles, or lily leaf beetles and put them in a container of soapy water (they tend to drop off leaves when disturbed, so may fall into the container on their own if you hold it beneath them). You can dispatch slugs in soapy water also. Your local USDA Extension Service office can help with questions about plant diseases if you call or bring in a sample.

Finally, be sure to take the time to sit and enjoy your handiwork, and pick herbs or flowers to dry. Invite a friend to see your garden or bring a bouquet to someone and share it that way. And be sure to take plenty of photos!

Barb Pierson, the nursery manager at White Flower Farm, is available for interviews upon request, as are other experts.

Please contact: Deborah Broide,
Deborah Broide Publicity,
(973) 744-2030,

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White Flower Farm is a family-owned nursery located in northwest Connecticut. Since 1950, they have been gathering, evaluating, growing, and selling a wide range of annuals, perennials, shrubs, vines, bulbs, and houseplants representing the very best varieties from around the world. Plants shipped are true to name, free of disease, and in prime condition for growing. While in the area, stop by White Flower Farm with its five acres of display gardens, or visit, where you will also find helpful gardening information including a how-to video library. Join our E-mail list for gardening advice and tips, From the Farm monthly newsletter, announcement of events at the White Flower Farm Store, and special offers not in our catalogues or on our Web site. White Flower Farm -- we make your garden grow.

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