Landscape Logic: Here’s how to keep plant color blooming the rest of the summer |

Landscape Logic: Here’s how to keep plant color blooming the rest of the summer

Neils Lunceford
Landscape Logic
If your plants and flowers are suffering in the July heat, here are some ways to fix dried-up spots.
Special to the Daily

By late July, it’s not unusual to have patio containers or flower beds that are a mix of thriving flowers and foliage and some stragglers that are less than lush.

If you didn’t set your timer to water while you were on vacation or you got too busy to fertilize and deadhead flowers, you might have some sad spots in your landscape or container garden. But all is not lost — here are three quick fixes that can fill in those dead spaces and keep your flowers looking great the rest of the season.

Start over

If most of your container plants are dead or droopy, pitch them and pick up a ready-to-go planter filled with annuals from the local garden center. Another fast fix is a color bowl or hanging basket you can drop into your existing container for an instant makeover.

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Replace a few plants

If only a few plants look scruffy, remove them and drop in fresh plants in their place. But before you get replacements, try to diagnose what went wrong.

Was the failing plant a shade plant in too much sun — or a sun-lover placed in the shade? Did you plant a lower-water plant next to a thirsty one? Plants with mismatched water needs can cause one of them to fail.

Once you have selected good replacements, it will probably not take more than five minutes per container to replant.

Fill in bare spots

If plants got unevenly spaced at planting or you’re not sure which plant would be a good replacement for a dying or dead one, there are quick fixes that may not require adding more plants. Glass orbs, a birdhouse or bee hotel, a pollinator waterer or maybe a figurine like a garden gnome can quickly fill a bare spot. Find an artistic element that fits your style.

With minimal time and effort, slightly shabby containers or beds can be dressed up and ready for the next outdoor party.

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