Deadheading Around the Garden
by Nancy Denison, AEMG
Deadheading your garden flowers will help keep the area neat and tidy as well as promote and prolong flower blooms. An additional benefit is its help in controlling reseeding/spreading and crowding in the beds. Deadheading can be an overwhelming task as it was in the flower beds at the school where I taught. The daisies and coreopsis were beautiful until it was time to deadhead and of course no one was around to do it. The trick is to do a little bit several times a week throughout the growing season.
It’s best to start to snip when the flower begins to decline, which might be a change of color or loss of petals. Weather; heat, rain, or lack of it, can affect the longevity of your various perennials and annuals. It is generally easiest to remember to prune spent flowers and stems to a point where there is a new lateral leaf or flower bud. If there is no new flower showing, cut the stem to a lateral leaf.
Some plants need a shearing with scissors as flowers bloom and fade at the same time. There are also plants that don;t need to be pruned at al as the do not rebloom. These include sedum, vinca, astilbe, and peony, just to name a few. Some flowers are easy to pinch off with your fingers, others with thicker stems will require scissors or hand pruners. And of course the more flowers you cut and bring in to enjoy inside the house means less deadheading in the long run!
Fine Gardening Magazine. “Off With Their Heads”, Tracey DiSabato. August 2003 #92
Garden Gate Magazine. “Deadheading”, Jim Childs. August 2006
Garden Gate Magazine. “How To Deadhead 8 Great Plants”, Marcia Leeper. August 2012 #106