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Perfect Perennial Flowers

Have the sun, weather and insects gotten the best of your flower gardening beds? As summer continues, your once-colorful garden beds may start to fade. Bring some color and life back to your flower garden by caring for your existing perennial flowers and planting new late-blooming perennials whose bold color will last well into fall.

Start by tidying up your flower garden, pulling weeds and deadheading tattered plants. Your perennial flowers will grow much better without the competition of weeds, and removing dead flower heads will encourage blooming now and new growth in the spring.

Any overcrowded plants can either be dug out and replaced, or divided and replanted for a fresh start. For new late-blooming perennials, make sure to purchase low-maintenance, heat-tolerant plants that will fare well under the August sun. These plants should be watered before planting and should be planted at the same depth they were grown in the container.

Here are a few suggestions for late-blooming perennial flowers that will provide color not only to your garden beds, but your pots and window boxes as well:

  • Black-eyed Susan is a hearty and vibrant perennial that blooms from late summer to frost. It acclimates well and won't require much deadheading.
  • Toad lily is a hardy perennial that resembles an orchid, and has an exotic look to it. The red- and purple-speckled flower does best in part sun to full shade, but will fare well against late summer's unforgiving heat. Its nectar will attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
  • 'Blue Autumn' aster is another flower that will attract butterflies. The daisy-like deep blue flower does best in full sun and peaks from August to October.
  • Selected daylilies produce many blossoms over a long period in the late season. Try planting varieties such as 'Heirloom Heaven,' 'Autumn Minaret,' and 'The Jury's Out' for plenty of colorful, tall blossoms.
  • Salvia Leucantha, commonly known as Mexican sage brush, produces beautiful white and purple spikes from late summer until frost. There are many varieties of salvia that bloom in fall in an assortment of colors.

Late summer is also a good time to plant spring-blooming perennial fkiwers. This will give them a head start thanks to warm soil and drenching rainfalls. Make sure to plant them a solid six weeks before the first frost.

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