Deadheading is a word used to describe the process of removing dead flowers from flowering plants.
It can be done by pinching the dead blooms off of a plant with your fingers, but it can also be accomplished by cutting the dead flowers off with a pair of shears. There are a few good reasons why you should deadhead your plants.
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Why You Should Deadhead Your Plants
When you deadhead your plants, you prevent seeds from developing and setting. Once the seeds from a plant set, the plant will stop producing flowers.
If you cut the dead flowers off of your plants, your plants will continue to produce flowers throughout the season, and these flowers may be larger than the previous ones.
Removing dead flowers from your plants protects them from disease and damage that can result from insect infestation.
It keeps your garden looking neat because deadheading prevents the seeds a plant produces from germinating in undesirable places.
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You should also deadhead your plants because doing so will make them look attractive and healthy. They won’t have lifeless, faded flowers hanging off of them.
To keep your plants looking their best, deadhead them every day or at least once a week. Make sure the pruning shears you use are sharp. Make sure the shears you use are clean, too. Felco is my favorite company for pruning shears – check out their store on Amazon!
If you follow this advice, you should be able to enjoy the beautiful benefits of your efforts!
If you’re deadheading annuals…
Note that if you have annuals and want them to produce flowers the following year, don’t deadhead them.
Let the flowers on your plant dry up and produce seeds that will fall to the ground and germinate. If you don’t want your plant to self-sow, save the seeds it makes for planting next year.
- Black & Decker Outdoor Home Landscaping With Perennials; Elizabeth Navas Finley; 2001
- Ortho’s All About Annuals; Ortho Books; 1999
- SMARTGUIDE Creative Homeowner Annuals; Creative Homeowner; 2009
- The Perennial Gardener’s Design Primer; Stephanie Cohen & Nancy J. Ondra; 2005