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Deadheading Perennials

July 21st, 2009

This week I’ve been busy deadheading my perennials that bloomed early in the season. I don’t deadhead all of my plants, just specific ones that I know will bloom again, like catmint, ‘Stella de Oro’ lillies, sage and salvia. I also deadhead my daylillies as they’re blooming to keep them blooming longer.
Other plants I cut off the seed heads because they’re rather aggressive reseeders and I don’t want them taking over my flowerbeds. These include: chives, balloon flowers, wild geraniums and a few others.
I only deadhead plants until about the end of July, after that I leave them be (except for seed heads of invasives) so that they can store up energy for overwintering. Some plants get sheared off completely (catmint & lillies), others just get the dead flower heads cut off of them to tidy them up a big (sages, daylillies and balloon flowers).
I didn’t always deadhead, but I started to have trouble with some aggressive plants taking over and nudging out some of the plants that I wanted, so I started deadheading. I also like how it cleans up the garden and gets rid of the some of the brown, it just makes everything look a little nicer. Surprisingly it’s a garden chore that really doesn’t take that long, and it provides some compost fodder, so it does have it’s rewards.

Do you deadhead your plants or do you let nature run it’s course?

5 Comments to “Deadheading Perennials”
  1. Mangochild on July 21, 2009 at 5:45 am

    I’ve planted perennials for the first time this year and sadly admit I know nothing about deadheading. How far deep do you go into the plant? When do you know that it is worth deadheading and when the plant is best left alone?
    .-= Mangochild´s last blog ..Spotlight: One Local Summer Week 7 =-.

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    • Susy on July 21, 2009 at 10:23 pm

      It depends on the plant. Plants that bloom again, like mints and sages I sometimes cut back on the stem to where 2 side shoots are growing. If I have a lot of plants to do, I just shear them off about 5 inches above the ground.

      Lillies (like ‘Stella de Oro’) I shear of 5 inches above the ground when they’re done blooming.

      Daylillies I pick of each bloom when it’s spent.

      Plants that don’t rebloom I cut back just the flowerheads or seedheads.

      Annuals I also try to pick off the spent blossoms to prevent the plant from forming seeds (which signals the plant to stop blooming).

      Reply to Susy's comment

  2. Daphne on July 21, 2009 at 8:06 am

    I deadhead my dianthus in the spring because the rotting flower look so bad. I just can’t stand how it looks. I dead head my lilies because then the next year they are bigger. Ditto with my peonies and well a lot of other plants :> I don’t do any of them with a schedule, but every couple of weeks I’ll notice something and start cutting whatever I think needs cutting off.
    .-= Daphne´s last blog ..Fall Garden Is Started =-.

    Reply to Daphne's comment

    • Susy on July 21, 2009 at 10:20 pm

      I like the way it cleans everything up as well.

      Reply to Susy's comment

  3. pam on July 22, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    Last year I made the mistake of not deheading my garlic chives. I think I even did a cute post about it on my blog. Big mistake. Garlic chives are everywhere.
    .-= pam´s last blog ..Lemon Chicken Pasta for Presto Pasta Nights!! =-.

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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