Deadheading for More Blooms

Deadheading is one of those gardening tasks that are easy to overlook. With all the weeding, watering, harvesting, and mowing, deadheading usually seems to take a back seat. But it is one of the best things you can do to maintain an attractive garden that full of blooms.

Deadheading is simply removing the spent blooms of annuals and some perennials so that the plant will make more blooms. If a spent bloom stays on a plant, the plant focuses on seed production, since a plant's whole purpose, as far as it's concerned, is to make more plants. Blooms are just a pretty part of the path to making more seeds. But by plucking that spent bloom off, you are interrupting the plant's seed-making process, and it starts making more flowers, so it can make seeds....and on it goes.

But you don't want seeds (generally). You want flowers. So, you deadhead.

The easiest way to deadhead is to use your thumb and forefinger and just pluck the spent blooms off of the plant. If the stem is too thick for this, or you just feel more comfortable, you can also use pruning shears.

Depending on the plant, you may want to just remove the spent bloom (such as petunias, marigolds, zinnias, lilacs) or the entire flowering stem (geraniums, pincushion flower, daylily, Echinacea.) Removing the whole stem just makes the plant look neater, so you don't have bare, headless stems sticking up all over your garden.

The more you deadhead, the more blooms you will get. For many of us, that's the whole point of gardening! ITGO