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How to Deadhead Your Garden Flowers

April 22, 2009

If you have planted early flowers this spring, you may soon need to deadhead them to ensure the best growth of your plants throughout their growing season. For many flowers, deadheading helps the plant to produce more flowers. In many cases, it allows the flowers that are blooming to get more light than if they had dead flowers blocking their sunlight. It also sends more of the plant’s energy to the newer stems and flowers rather than to a stem that has a dead flower at the end. A plant depends on its dead flowers to drop its seeds into the ground. If you cut off the dead flower before it drops, you will encourage the plant to try again by producing more flowers.

Deadheading a flower properly really depends on how the flower grows on the plant. If the flower grows at the top of a long stem that will grow no other flowers on it, deadhead it by cutting at the base of that stem rather than closer to the dead flower.

If the flowers are one stalk that contains a lot of flowers, it’s important to use sharp gardening shears to cut the dead flower close to the base of the flower in order to avoid damaging the stalk and the flowers that are already on it. For some types of flowering plants, making larger cuts may be necessary. If you have a plant that is bushy and has a lot of tiny flowers on it, it might be a better use of your time to simply cut off an area that has a lot of dead flowers rather than to try to cut out each individual dead one. You might end up cutting away a few live ones in the process, but you will save a lot of tedious work. The best way to keep from having to deadhead the flowers is to cut them when they are fresh, put them in a vase and bring them into the house to enjoy them.

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