OYO: Revitalizing worn and damaged plants

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In this week's Owning Your Outdoors we have tips for pruning your plants. You put a lot of time and effort into planting your petunias and geraniums this spring, this will help ensure that they are healthy so that they can thrive all summer long.

Lewis yard and garden manager Doug Schroeder says you shouldn't be afraid to prune your plants. If you cut them back beyond the blooms, flowers will come back quickly.

Our yard and garden expert, Doug Schroeder from Lewis, says that this is the time of year that our plants can start to show some wear and tear. Sometimes the weather, sometimes it's insects but most of the time it's because of things we have or have not done. The good news is that these plants are resilient and it doesn't take a lot of work to bring them back and make them look better than ever.

Doug says that cutting plants back is beneficial. Doug suggests that you start by looking at the plant from all different directions. Your goal is to get the plant down to a nice "clump" formation.

Geraniums naturally start overgrowing and getting out of control. Look for the 'nodes' on the plant, which are areas right above where new leaves or branches are coming out. Prune it there. It's OK to cut off blooms. It's best to get the plant to look uniform. The blooms will come back. Doug says a good rule of thumb with geraniums is to cut it back by about one third. When you're done pruning, give it fertilizer and it will bounce back and look better than ever in no time.

Petunias thrive from being cut back. In fact, Doug says you can actually cut a petunia almost to the ground and it will quickly bounce back and look like a brand new plant. Most people know about deadheading or removing the dead blooms from a petunia, but what you might not know is that you should also remove that pod from that bloom. If you don't remove the old blooms, eventually the plant will quit blooming. If you have a petunia that's in rough shape, Doug suggests cutting it back to where there are no blooms. Within a couple of weeks, the plant will come back and be full of blooms.


Lewis yard and garden manager Doug Schroeder says you shouldn't be afraid to prune your plants. If you cut them back beyond the blooms, flowers will come back quickly.