What to do when plants stop flowering – 7 handy tips to encourage your summer blooms

Diana statue’s garden home filled with princess’s favourite flowers

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Flowering is an important part of gardening. At times plants may struggle and fail to bloom. Express.co.uk has compiled a guide with seven handy tips to help encourage full blooms. 

There are several reasons why flowers may not bloom, but there is no reason to fear if this happens.

Some causes of plants not flowering can be controlled, while others are out of one’s control.

One common reason why plants may not flower is you are using too much high-nitrogen fertiliser.

This type of fertiliser promotes lots of green leafy growth, rather than flowers.

Another common reason why your plant may not be flowering is because you pruned it at the wrong time of the year.

Late-season pruning may lead to a lack of flowers in shrubs and trees, and can also lead to the removal of all buds for next year’s flowers.

Make sure to check when and how exactly you should be pruning your plants for optimal flowering.

Some plants also can take several years to root fully and mature before they are ready for flower.

Flowering is essentially how plants propagate their species and this process takes a lot of energy so the plant needs to be fully matured before it is able to undertake this process.

Some plants, like biennials, die shortly after flowering, which is why deadheading is an important step in forcing plants to bloom again.

Another key issue which could be impacting your plant’s flowering ability is exposure to the right climate.

Many flowers need at least six hours of sunshine to establish buds.

If the weather is not enabling this, the plant can become stressed and one of the first steps in a plant’s stress cycle is to drop its flowers and buds in a bid to stay alive.

The warmth of the sun is also important to encourage flowers to open – you may notice flowers close up overnight and slowly open during the morning sun as the day becomes warmer.

In addition to the current weather, the previous cold seasons may have had a damaging effect on your plants and thus their ability to bloom properly.

Winter damage can prompt plants into forgoing flowering as they enter survival mode.

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How can you encourage a plant to bloom

You should try to figure out what is impacting the flowering of your plant and then address that problem.

For instance, if you are using too much high nitrogen fertiliser you should scale back on how much you use.

However, if your plant has stopped flowering because you have let it run to seed, you should keep picking flowers to bring indoors and deadhead them regularly to keep plants flowering over the summer and into the autumn.

These techniques will be useful for prolonging flowering and will also help to make sure your garden looks bright and colourful.

Tips to encourage summer blooms

  • Use soil which is light and rich in compost or manure to offer nutrients to your plantes.
  • Deadhead your plants regularly – particularly when flowers begin to wilt or fade.
  • Fertilise your plants with a product high in phosphorus rather than nitrogen.
  • Provide more direct sunlight to your plants where possible – by removing any shading obstructions.
  • Take extra care to nurse your roots making sure not to damage them if you are planting around them.
  • Use mulch as it can help deter pests and diseases.
  • Make sure to undertake moderate watering as too much or too little can damage your plant during the flowering season.

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