Once your soil is prepared, your seeds have been sown and those pesky weeds have been eliminated, you might think that the only thing left to do is sit back and enjoy the beauty of your garden's spring flower arrangements. Unfortunately, your work isn't over yet! To maintain the beauty of summer flowers, you'll need to frequently deadhead your spent blooms. Here's why it's necessary, and a few tips on how to do it properly.
According to Gardener's World Magazine, deadheading your flowers is important because by removing dying blooms, you'll be allowing your plants to use their energy elsewhere, like to form new buds and leaves. It will also help to extend the life of your plants and encourage them to bloom more frequently. Deadheading will also prevent your self-sowing flowers from setting seed, which could be useful if you don't want to have multiples taking over your garden.
When to Deadhead
MelindaMyers.com recommends deadheading your flowers as soon as you notice them beginning to droop. This could mean frequent work in the summertime, but it'll be worth it in the end. However, toward the end of the blooming season, you might want to stop deadheading some of your plants, suggests Horticulture Magazine. If a plant's seeds or fruits are decorative, you'll be adding beauty. Some flower's seeds can support birds and other wildlife, and if you want the plants to self-sow, there's no reason to remove dying blooms.
How to Deadhead
You can deadhead your flowers using your fingers or a sharp pair of clean scissors or a pruner. How you do it depends on the type of blooms you're working with. Generally, you can fit flowers into one of three categories, according to Horticulture Magazine: single flowers, spiky flowers and clustered flowers.
Gardener's World Magazine asserts that you can simply pinch off the heads of dead single flowers, like marigolds and zinnias. Spiky flowers like lavender, snapdragons and lupine should have the entire stalk clipped off down to the next set of leaves, reports Horticulture Magazine. Even if there are some healthy flowers up at the top, those below could already be forming seeds. Clustered flowers, like some roses, should have their individual blooms cut off.
No matter what type of plant you're working with, be sure to cut the head of the flower and the stem only as far back as the next set of leaves or the end of the stem. This will ensure that you're not removing any healthy buds!