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Dead heading - what does it mean?!

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Comment from Sandy Rawlins


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As a new gardener, I'm never quite sure what 'dead heading means. Last weekend, I snipped off all of my salvias, hoping that this was the right thing to do and may result in a second flush of new flowers. Does the same thing apply to penstemons, or do I just pick off all of the dead heads? Help!!!!

  • Views: 1450
  • Replies: 2
  • Posted: Tue. 14th July 2009 18:35

Deadheading - hope this helps!

Reply from Nicola

Once a plant has flowered, it puts energy into producing seed at the expense of more flowers.

You can encourage more blooms by removing the flowers as they fade and before seeds can develop. This technique is known as deadheading.

Deadheading also improves the look of the current display. Some flowering plants, are also worth deadheading to prevent them from self-seeding themselves all over the place and causing a weed problem.

Use finger and thumb to pick or snap off each dead head where it joins the stem, or secateurs to cut just below the flower head. Avoid damaging buds or developing growths immediately below the flower.

Deadheading - hope this helps!

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  • Posted: Tue. 14th July 2009 21:33

Deadheading Penstemon

Reply from Kathy C

Hi, Sandy,
It is best (and easiest) to remove the whole spike of Penstemon flowers once they have faded. Saves time and the plant just might reward you with a new flower stalk. Deadheading individual flowers on the stalk will give you a tidier stalk, but not new flowers.
Kathy C.

  • Posted: Wed. 15th July 2009 22:06