While some might automatically think of an uninteresting person upon hearing the word ‘deadhead’, the term actually means the opposite for gardeners. Deadheading is a gardening technique that involves removal of faded flowers to keep plants looking interesting, appealing and attractive. Although quite a tedious chore, the new bloom and life you will witness from your garden will make the extra effort worth it.
Groom for Long Bloom
Over time, flowers wilt and lose their appeal, affecting the over-all appearance of the plant and the garden. Naturally, spent flowers produce seed heads. As the plant ripens, it directs its energy to the development of seeds instead of the flowers.
Deadheading, however, postpones this natural cycle. Experts from Longacres Garden Centre Ltd. explain cutting off dead flower heads allows the plants to continue developing new buds, which then extends blooming period. Ultimately, this results in more flowers for the garden.
A New Life for the ‘Dead’
Deadheading is fairly easy, although a bit tricky, as choosing the exact point where to make a cut varies from flower to flower. The technique greatly depends on plant species, so it is difficult to group plants into categories. The general rule, however, is to trim spent flowers and stems back to the point where there’s a new bud. Trim the stem back to a lateral leaf if there is no new flower head evident.
Habit of the Green Thumb
There is no better time to deadhead a flower than when the plant’s appearance loses appeal. How often you should do this gardening chore depends on the life span of the blooms; it may go from a day to many weeks, depending on the species. As you probably already know, seasonal weather patterns affect how long the flowers stay in bloom. Generally, they last longer in cool weather than in summer seasons.
All these factors point to the fact that you have to get into the habit of inspecting plants regularly. That is the only way you will know when and how often you should do deadheading.
As the old saying goes, you reap what you sow. You can witness a garden come to life with new blooms if you are diligent with your gardening chores. Keep your garden brimming with life by practicing the task of deadheading.