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How is deadheading done?

by | Mar 10, 2010 | Resources, Market News, Ask Pahl's Market

How is deadheading done?

Dear Jerri,

Deadheading is the removal of spent blooms of annuals and perennials.  It is done to encourage rebloom and prevent or postpone the development of seed.  To deadhead  a plant you should remove the spent bloom and as much of the bloom stem as possible.  On plants where the bloom stem comes from the base of the plant and is separate from the foliage (coneflowers, day lilies, gerbera daisies) cut the entire stem back to the base or crown of the plant.  On plants with blooms branching from all the stems (salvias, geraniums, veronicas) the bloom and stem should be cut back to where there is a set of true leaves on the stem.  This will allow the plant to branch and produce new blooms on new growth.  If you cut off just the bloom the stem will die back eventually, but you will be left with a plant with unsightly brown sticks all over it.  Regular deadheading of annuals and perennials will increase the number of blooms and the length of the bloom time.  In addition to deadheading, many plants (bacopa, petunias, trailing verbena, nepeta) will respond well to regular trimming and shaping.  Cutting back long leggy growth and thinning dense undergrowth will result in thicker lush plants and more blooms.   A few minutes spent deadheading your plants every time you water is all it takes to keep your plants blooming and looking their best.

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