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Tips to keep Late Blooming
Perennials Looking their Best

Fall bloomers can get very tall and leggy. Makes sense since they have had all season to grow! Then, when they bloom, they are often top heavy and fall over. How frustrating to have waited all summer long, only to have the blooms lay face down in the dirt. To ensure your fall display is glorious and beautiful, you will either need to stake your fall bloomers, or do some pruning earlier in the season to make the plants stockier and more self-supporting. Keep in mind that if you prune your plants, you will be delaying the bloom period by a week or more.

Staking should be done in spring, before the plants even have a chance to flop. You will have the ugly stakes showing for a few weeks but it can save headaches and heartaches later in the season. There are lots of different methods and materials for staking, so do a little research on the web for this.

To encourage plants to become stockier, cut the plant by 1/3 once it has reached about 6-8 inches in height. This should cause it to send out more stems. Let it grow about a month and then cut it back by 1/3 again. Now your plant should grow into a full, stocky plant with multiple stems and multiple blooms. The flowers may be a bit later than if you hadn’t cut, but there will be more.

The following are Fall Blooming Perennials that may benefit from staking or pruning.

Aster azureus
Aster laevis
Aster novae-angliae
Aster n.a. Alma Potschke
Aster n.a. English Countryside

Aster n.a. Harrington’s Pink
Aster n.a. September Ruby
Heliopsis helianthoides
Rudbeckia maxima
Rudbeckia n. Autumn Sun

Upright Sedums can also be pruned to encourage them to grow into a full stocky plant. And if they split, or flopped, last year this technique can delay digging and dividing for another year or two. Just cut them back by about 1/2 around Father’s Day.

Sedum x Autumn Charm
Sedum x Autumn Fire
Sedum x Autumn Joy
Sedum x Frosty Morn
Sedum x Matrona
Sedum x Postman’s Pride

Sedum x Purple Emperor
Sedum x Red Cauli
Sedum x Xenox
Sedum spectabile Brilliant
Sedum spectabile Neon