Grooming

Like any other garden plant, an annual looks better if you stop by every now and then and give it some personal attention — some grooming. Annuals soon replace pinched-off bedraggled leaves with new ones.

Plant diseases and insects are harbored in wilted, browned, spotted, or yellowed leaves (indeed, pests and disease may have caused the damage). So always get rid of those unhealthy leaves when you see them, and don't forget to scoop up any that have fallen at the base of your plants. Such tidiness can arrest a problem or even clear it up.

You can get more flowers through deadheading, or removing spent blossoms. Annuals aim to go to seed, and when you cut flowers for bouquets or remove spent blossoms, you're thwarting this natural process. The plant responds by generating more buds and flowers. If you're diligent, the plant may never get a chance to go to seed.

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