Pruning annuals and perennials

A tip from the test garden

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Pruning tip

Damien Scogin

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You can keep nonwoody annuals and perennials flowering by using two simple techniques.

Pinching or nipping off growing tips makes a plant bushier. Use your thumb and forefinger to pinch back annuals that often get leggy, like petunias; do this two or three times during the growing season. Perennials that tend to grow rangy, including asters and phlox, benefit from a single pinching in late spring or early summer.


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