How To Deadhead Flowers In The Garden
If you're wondering what is deadheading a plant and how does it keep your flowers blooming,
the good news is that it is very easy. With a few basic guidelines, you should become an expert.
Deadheading refers to simply removing the dead flower heads from your plants. Not only does
the process clean up a plant's appearance, but it also controls the spread of seeds and encourages
your flowers and plants to continue to grow thicker and fuller than before. If performed on a regular
basis, this basic garden task doesn't require much time or thought.
A blossom's nectar and pollen provide forage to pollinators like bees, butterflies, beetles and birds.
The plant itself may even provide a safe sanctuary and habitat for wildlife. And after your pretty
blooms fade away, the fruits, berries and nuts that follow feed both wildlife and people.
Deadheading the spent flowers, in certain plant species, will re-invigorate the plant to produce another round
of blooms for pollinators and will beautify your garden.
If the thought of the process of keeping your flowers pruned and deadheaded seems overwhelming,
try not doing it all at once. Instead, break your yard up into sections and do a little bit at a time. You
may find the process enjoyable and peaceful.
You actually don't have to worry about timing when deadheading flowers. This garden chore can,
and should, happen throughout the growing season,
How often to deadhead depends on the specific plant and the weather. Towards the end of summer
and into fall, you may want to allow certain plants the opportunity to go to seed as plants have attractive
seeds and provide food to wildlife in the cooler months.
Choosing the point to deadhead may seem confusing. If you cut close to the bottom of the bloom,
chances are you will be left with a dry and unattractive stem. Where to deadhead or prune a plant
can change depending on the species.
For a basic rule of thumb, deadhead your spent flowers
and stems back to ¼ inch above a new lateral flower, lateral leaf or bud. This encourages
new growth and healthy foliage.
Although some plants can simply be pinched, try using snips (for example, Micro-Tip Snips) to deadhead
most plants. They give me the ability to quickly reach into a plant and make a clean, tidy cut with
minimal damage to the plant.
Larger, woody stems, such as roses, may require a stronger tool. For these plants, you may want
to use your pruner for a clean, sharp cut. Larger stems should be cut at a 45-degree angle. This
reduces the risk of disease or damage.
The main point of deadheading plants is to make your flower beds look amazing – so don't drop
your spent blooms on the ground. It's just as easy to collect them in a small bucket for disposal
in your compost pile.