Do All Flowers Need Deadheading: Learn About Plants You Shouldn’t Deadhead

Do All Flowers Need Deadheading: Learn About Plants You Shouldn’t Deadhead

By: Teo Spengler

Deadheading
is the practice of snipping off faded blossoms to encourage new flowers. Do all
flowers need deadheading? No, they don’t. There are some plants you shouldn’t
deadhead. Read on for information on which plants don’t require spent bloom
removal.

Do All Flowers Need Deadheading?

You plant flowering shrubs in order to see those lovely
blossoms open. In time, the blossoms fade and die. In many cases, you help the
plant to produce more flowers by trimming off dead and wilted blossoms. This is
called deadheading.

Deadheading is a simple enough procedure. You simply pinch
or snip off the wilting flower’s stem, making the cut just above the next leaf
nodes. This allows the plant to invest its energy in producing more flowers
rather than helping seeds mature. Many plants flower better when you deadhead
faded blossoms. Do all flowers need deadheading though? The simple answer is
no.

Flowers You Don’t Deadhead

Some plants are “self-cleaning.” These are plants with
flowers you don’t deadhead. Even when you don’t remove the old flowers, these
plants keep on blooming. Which are self-cleaning plants that don’t need
deadheading?

These include annual vincas
that drop their flower heads when they are finished blooming. Almost all types
of begonias
do the same, dropping their old blooms. A few others include:

  • Diacia

Plants You Shouldn’t Deadhead

Then there are flowering plants you shouldn’t deadhead.
These are not self-cleaners, but the seed pods are ornamental after the flowers
wilt and turn to seed. For example, sedum
seed heads
hang onto the plant through autumn and are considered very
attractive.

Some Baptisia
blossoms form interesting pods if you leave them on the plant. Astilbe
has tall flower stalks that dry into appealing pretty plums.

Some gardeners choose not to deadhead perennials in order to
allow them to self-seed. The new baby plants can fill in sparse areas or
provide transplants. Great choices for self-seeding plants include hollyhock, foxglove,
lobelia
and forget-me-not.

Don’t forget how much wildlife appreciates some seedpods
during the winter months as well. For example, coneflower
and rudbeckia
seedpods are treats for birds. You’ll want to leave these seedpods on the
plants and forego deadheading.

This article was last updated on

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