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Deadheading for Color

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June 14, 2019

An important garden task is removing spent flowers, called deadheading today on Southern Gardening.

Flowers are deadhead for several reasons from encouraging plants to rebloom, remove the seed source of species that could become weedy and maintain the health of our flowering plants. The overall health of your flowering plants can be increased through deadheading. Seed production requires a lot of energy and the plant will sacrifice all vegetative growth in order to produce the next generation. By removing the spent flower heads the plant can be maintained in a more vegetative growth stage through which the stems, leaves, and most importantly the root system will continue to growth. The procedure for deadheading will depend on the flowering characteristics of the plants themselves. For plants having single flowers, such as Coreopsis or Echinacea, removing the flower stalk is all that is needed. You can increase bloom size by removing side flowers buds from lateral growth so more energy is sent to the main flower. Many of our flowering garden plants have clusters of flowers, such as Achillea and Heuchera. These can be more troublesome as all of the flowers do not mature at the same time and seed is produced over a prolonged period. As the flower cluster starts to fade, remove it, and allow the plant to produce new clusters. Plants like Dianthus produce flowers over the entire plant. Removing individual flowers would discourage even the most dedicated gardener, so simply shear the plant using snips or an electric trimmer. Until next time, I’m horticulturist Gary Bachman enjoying our Southern Gardening.

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