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  3. How Plants Arrive in Summer

How Plants Arrive in Summer

Wondering how your plants from Gardening Express will arrive in summer? Plants are living organisms that constantly adapt to their surroundings, showcasing their beauty in different forms and shapes throughout various seasons. For those who have ordered plants during summer, receiving them in unexpected shapes or sizes is not uncommon. This is a testament to plants’ dynamic nature and the care we take to ensure their optimal health and beauty. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind the changes in plants’ appearances and understand why occasional maintenance is essential for their successful growth and development.

Seasonal Transformations

Seasons play a crucial role in influencing the growth and appearance of plants. Each season brings unique environmental conditions, such as temperature, light, and water availability, which plants must adapt to survive and thrive. As a result, plants undergo various changes in shape and form throughout the year.

Plants tend to grow vigorously in summer due to warmer temperatures and increased daylight. This accelerated growth often leads to lush foliage and blooming flowers. However, this luxuriant growth can also lead to overcrowding and reduced airflow within the plant, making it susceptible to diseases and pest infestations.

Although warmer weather can increase growth and flowering, exceptionally hot or cold summers can impact when the plant may begin to flower. If we have a cold summer, it is unsurprising for some plants to bloom later. Hot summers can sometimes lead to heat damage, no matter how carefully we protect the plants.

The Importance of Maintenance

We take extra precautions to ensure the plants reach our customers in great condition during summer. One of the primary maintenance practices is deadheading, which involves the removal of spent flowers from plants. Deadheading encourages continuous blooming and prevents the plant from diverting energy into seed production. This process enhances the overall appearance of the plant and promotes healthy growth.

Pruning is another vital maintenance activity undertaken by nurseries. Through selective trimming of branches or stems, pruning helps shape the plants, maintain their size, and promote better air circulation.

The Chelsea Chop Technique

In the horticultural world, the term ‘Chelsea Chop‘ refers to a specific pruning method commonly applied to herbaceous plants. It involves cutting back certain herbaceous perennials around the time of the Chelsea Flower Show, which usually takes place in late May. By employing the Chelsea Chop technique, gardeners can control the height and flowering season of the plants.

This pruning method encourages plants to grow more compact and robust, leading to sturdier stems and increased flower production. As a result, the Chelsea Chop helps synchronise the flowering time of herbaceous plants, providing a breathtaking display of colours and blooms in the garden.

Meeting Expectations

While some customers may receive plants that appear different from what they envisioned, it is important to recognise that these alterations are not flaws but a result of the plant’s natural growth cycle and care. The adjustments, such as deadheading, pruning, and the Chelsea Chop, aim to enhance the plants’ health and aesthetics before reaching their final destination.

Once these well-cared-for plants are transplanted and established in their new garden environment, they are likely to flourish and offer a more rewarding experience to the gardener. The maintenance carried out ensures that the plants are primed to adapt to their new surroundings and continue to grow vibrantly.


In conclusion, plants are living entities that undergo continuous transformations throughout the seasons. We employ various maintenance practices, including deadheading, pruning, and the Chelsea Chop, to enhance the quality of the plants before they reach their customers. While the appearance of the plants may vary upon arrival, understanding and appreciating the efforts behind these adjustments can lead to a deeper appreciation of the ever-changing nature of plants.

Updated on July 31, 2023

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