Why Dead Heading is Important

Dead heading is essential to get the optimum number of flowers and blooming time from a plant.


The function of many plants, perennials and annuals, is to replicate. Plants recreate by producing flowers which end up being seeds which are shed and distributed at which point the cycle is complete. To motivate a plant to keep flowering, or to produce a 2nd flush of flowers, eliminate the spent flower so no seed is produced and the plant will aim to produce another flower.

Plants differing in how delicate they are to dead heading, in regards to producing more flowers. Some plants, such as Clematis Crystal fountain, if deadheaded, may produce a 2nd flush of flowers. For other plants, such as Sweet Peas, sturdy Geraniums, and Roses, dead heading is vital to keep the plant blooming all summertime long. Having described this to a pal recently, she responded, “I did question why my sweet peas stopped flowering!” She didn’t appreciate how essential this basic job is for the continuation of flowers and a great summertime display.

Head heading is also extremely essential for bedding plants to keep them flowering. If they are not deadheaded, the flowers will end up being less and less, and the plant leggy and will soon go over. With a little care most bedding plants should flower for weeks if not months.

Plant such as sturdy geraniums, typical name, Cranesbill, can be really time taking in to dead head. The image left is of the dead flower heads eliminated from a hardy Geranium in one session. If it end up being too much, an option with Cranesbill, Achillea mollis is to large the plant near ground level and if done early enough in the growing season, it might produce a second flush of flowers. Doing this will definitely produce fresh green foliage if the plant is looking exhausted.

If you are wanting to dead head flowers with a single flower spike such as Delphinium, Digitalis (Foxglove) Salvia, just remove the spent spike and sometimes the plant will reward with a smaller 2nd flush along with.

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