The long hot summer is hard on any plant- especially perennials. Trim your worn out perennials back to a branch or bud or even closer to the ground if needed. Planting cool season annuals around your perennials will keep your beds looking colorful when the cold temperatures knock back your perennials.
Divide and replant perennials and bulbs that have grown too large or need rejuvenation.
Some perennials may be starting to decline (such as caladium for example). This is normal. Even if foliage is declining the plant will return next spring.
Mums will be making an appearance in the next month or so as well. They are a great perennial for the fall- blooming all fall and after trimming spent flowers- they continue to thrive through the winter and bloom again in the spring. However, mums do not like the heat and will tend to open quickly in the fall and then you may be disappointed later on in November when they are spent. Wait as long as possible if you really want flowers later.
Cool season annuals to look for include: Alyssum, Dianthus, Dusty Miller, Geraniums, Snapdragons, Petunias, Lobelia & Violas. Pansies will appear later into the fall.
It is time to evaluate your potted plants – indoor and patio. If they are root bound repot in larger containers. Use fresh potting soil and fertilize with a liquid fertilizer or a granular. If you plan on bringing plants inside, spray them with soapy water or Horticultural Oil to get rid of any insects before bringing them inside.
September is the last month to plant tropicals like Allamanda, Ti plants, Crotons, Bougainvillea, and Helichonia. Planted by the end of the month, they have adequate time to establish a good root system to re-emerge from, if they receive freeze damage this coming winter. Fertilize your flowering tropicals with Nurserymen SureGro Bloomer 6-8-10 to keep them flowering through the fall.
Many customers come in complaining about their bougainvillea – won’t bloom or losing leaves etc. Bougainvillea requires full sun and drier conditions to thrive. It is generally a low maintenance plant and it is not uncommon, after a particularly lush blooming period, for the plant to lose leaves. This usually happens right before a growth spurt which will again, produce new flowers.
The leaves of your Plumeria may start to fall as we move farther into the fall as well. Bridal Bouquet doesn’t usually defoliate but it is pretty common with other varieties. Fungus from the summer is usually the cause but not to worry- it won’t hurt the plant. It will leaf out again in the spring.