I have two massive flowerbeds in the front of my new house. Things are pretty good so far, however, now that they are starting to grow (& the more Ive learned) I'm realizing I've planted a few flowers too close together! *zonal geraniums & Verbena* (The 2 plants are not close to each other but they are too close to theirselves.) I'm afraid Ill hinder growth or eventually kill them. I think I did the worst with that verbena, when I planted them out of a 6pack, I put them all in 1 lrg hole, thinking they should all be together, making a nice BIG patch of flowers! #1. should I dig them up & spread them out further? -how big/wide will 1 Verbena get, do they spread pretty well?? Low verbena. #2 also, it seems like when I deadhead both flowers it kind of dies in that area (gets dry & brittle) should I be cutting the flowers off while they still look pretty, wait until the petals start falling off, or on geraniums do I wait until that "spike" comes out of the center (or is that too late?)? I'm trying really hard to do this by myself but some answers I just can't find by googling. Thanks!!
07 May 2014 08:03 PM
I am replying to your email from Australia, so our seasons will be the opposite at this time of year. As it is autumn in Australia, this is the time to be transplanting. It will be spring in the US shortly going into summer so all of your plants will be actively growing and putting on new growth. It is not ideal to be transplanting at this time (unless you really have to) as the plants won't like having their roots disturbed. Zonal geraniums are pretty hardy plants and will grow well even there is competition from other plant roots. I wouldn't move them at this stage. Make sure you water well and give them enough nutrients by way of a liquid fertiliser applied every couple of weeks to maintain their growth habit. They will produce flower spike on a regular basis. Once the flower pikes have died, prune them off. This will encourage the plant to produce more flowers. With regard to your verbena, 6 seedlings planted in the one hole is a little excessive. The roots of each plant will be fighting for room to expand. This is probably resulting in stunted growth and ultimately poor health of the plant. They sound like, from what you have said in your email, to be suffering and not thriving. If you do decided to move the verbena, you will need to dig up the complete clump and then divide the clump into individual plants for replanting. Before digging up, give your plants a drench of seaweed solution to help lessen with the shock. Once divided and transplanted, water in again with a solution of seaweed extract and keep the soil moist around the newly transplanted plants. Use the seaweed solution every couple of weeks until you notice new growth appearing on the plants. At this stage you can begin fertilising with an organic liguid fertiliser. Gardening is a learning process for everyone, but as long as you are out there in your garden enjoying what is around you, that's what make it worthwhile. Happy gardening.