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Beginner Gardening: Is it ok to trim back the leaves for more room to bloom?

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Forum: Beginner GardeningReplies: 3, Views: 37
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Orem, UT
(Zone 6b)

July 20, 2012
5:18 PM

Post #9212784

This is my first year growing flowers and I have some thriving 4'oclocks. I had my first Bloom yesterday, A beautiful red/light pink. Two more are opening up right now. The one that opened up yesterday closed up and took part of the surrounding leaf with it. The flower buds are surrounded with long leaves cramping it to fully bloom(the first one yesterday isn't reopening for some reason and I don't know why). Is it ok to trim back the leaves to give the flowers more room to open up or will that harm the plant?
Orem, UT
(Zone 6b)

July 20, 2012
5:34 PM

Post #9212799

Also, Do these only bloom once? i don't understand why the first flower from yesterday isn't reopening. It just closed in on itself and is staying that way. It didn't close up in a long, tube like spiral the way it looked before it first opened. It like, folded itself in half and then closed, part of the stamen is sticking out. Did I do something wrong and can I prevent this from happening to the other flowers?
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

July 20, 2012
5:48 PM

Post #9212814

I can't remember for sure if 4 o'clocks do this, but there are plants where each individual flower only opens for one day. So you didn't do anything wrong, it's just how the plant behaves. As far as the leaves, I'd probably leave them alone and let the plant do what it will do naturally--buds that are going to open will open regardless of whether there's a leaf near it or not. If you're having trouble seeing the blooms it won't hurt the plant if you remove a leaf or two (don't remove a ton though--the plant needs them for photosynthesis), but the plant certainly doesn't need the leaves removed in order to bloom properly. And removing leaves won't make a flower that bloomed yesterday rebloom.
Orem, UT
(Zone 6b)

July 20, 2012
6:10 PM

Post #9212836

Thank you very much for your help. I hope the rest of the buds start coming in faster so There will be constant flowers every evening if they only open once(another curious thing is the Red flowers are growing much faster than the white,2 separate plants have red blooms on them while the whites are trying to catch up on their first bloom). Thanks again!!

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