This month at AussieGreenThumb.com is ‘So You Want A Better Garden’ Month, which aims to help you grow better gardens. As part of that I am running a 30 day challenge. The challenge consists of daily tasks of about 10 minutes each. I guarantee that if you complete each days task, by the end of September you will be well on your way towards reaching your gardening goals and growing better gardens. Will you accept the challenge?
Day 9 Challenge Recap – Spend 10 minutes removing any dead flowers on your plants. This is particularly important with plants that flower in the hot months of your climate. Removing spent flowers encourages them to continue to grow and perhaps even flower again sooner because plants want to produce seeds. Removing spent flowers means they need to flower again to achieve this. It also takes a lot of energy from a plant to produce seeds, removing the spent flowers means this energy is spent on growing and flowering.
This morning I mostly focused on removing some dead flowers from my Bottle Brush. There were not too many because it is actually just about to flower but some have already blossomed and I was able to remove them, hopefully enabling me to get another showing.
Last Spring this particular Bottle Brush looked incredible in early spring and I am excited to see it in blossom again. Around early October I trimmed all the old, dead flowers off it and as I hoped, it managed to have another, slightly less abundant showing in late November. Not quite as spectacular but still very nice and it was great to get a second showing during the flowering season.
The reason I set this challenge
A plants major goal is to produce seeds. Seeds are generally produced after flowering. A plant uses a lot of energy trying to produce these seeds, which means once it starts to seed it really slows down in the flower department. By removing dead flowers before the plant can really start growing seeds, you encourage the plant to keep flowering which most gardeners want. For example, when a rose flower dies, removing the flower before it forms a seed cluster will almost always keep that rose flowering.
Some people question this, suggesting it causes too much stress on plants. This is only true if your plant is seriously unhealthy. As long as your plant is healthy, removing the flowers and encouraging it to continue flowering will do it no harm. If this causes your plant to die, it was likely close to death anyway and was probably flowering and seeding one last time before it went to the great garden in the sky.
Different plants flower in different seasons in different climates. It is important for you to understand how your climate will affect your flowering and take note of what seasons your plants do actually produce flowers.
Learn more about your Climate
This challenge fits under the category of ‘Understanding Your Climate’. The system I follow suggests there are 3/4 climates in Australia as follows;
- Cold Climate;
- Temperate Climate;
- Sub Tropical/Tropical Climate;
If you want to learn more about how climate affects the garden, chapter 2 of my ebook covers understanding your climate in much more depth. Find out how you can buy my ebook ‘So You Want A Better Garden’ here.
It’s not too late to join the challenge! You can grow a better garden. Start today! The great thing about this challenge is it can run over any 30 day period. Just check out days 1-5 and start from today. You can grow better gardens.