August Tips & Advice

Flower garden

Watering container plants
Ensure containerised plants especially evergreens never go short of water during the summer while they're developing their flower buds for next spring's display. A shortage of water now can lead to a case of bud drop next year for plants, such as camellias and rhododendrons. Pots that have dried out should be submerged in water and left to soak for a few hours, ideally in a bowl, bath or water-butt. Even if it rains, pots often remain dry as they stand in the rain shadow of a house and their foliage acts as an umbrella. Keep your containerised plants healthy with our tips for effective watering.

Supporting plants
Support the stems of tall perennials and lilies with bamboo canes and watch out for lily beetles and their larvae. Pick any off and destroy them immediately.

Deadhead roses as the blooms fade, cutting off the flowers just above the uppermost leaf on the stem. Trim back lavender bushes after flowering to remove the old blooms and shoot tips. Take care not to cut back too heavily into any old wood. Removing faded flowers from perennials and annual plants will also ensure a continued display of blooms.

Dried flowers
Cut everlasting flowers, such as helichrysum and achillea, and grasses, such as pennisetum, when they are at their peak. Hang them upside down in a warm, airy position to dry naturally, ready for decorative arrangements.

Prune wisteria
Summer prune wisteria this month, shortening their long wispy sideshoots back to about five or six leaves from the main framework. If the plant's flowering performance was poor last spring, drench the soil with a high-potash fertiliser for an improvement.

Clematis thrive in fertile, well-drained soil in sun or partial shade, but ensure the roots and base of plants are in the shade to keep them healthy. Blackened shoot tips may indicate clematis wilt. Cut out affected stems, but leave the main pruning until late winter and early spring. Discover the best way to train clematis.

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