Deadheading Your Flowers

Deadheading Your Flowers
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Deadheading Your FlowersDeadheading - what is it, and why do it?

Deadheading is when you pinch off the faded blooms of a plant - either by snipping it or pinching it with your fingernails. This stops the seeds from forming, which allows the plant to spend more energy to form new blooms. This works SO well! I have found petunias, daisies, calendulas, pinks, zinnias, and so many others bloom far longer and look fresher if they are deadheaded.

Pansies are another flower that benefits greatly when you snip off the dead blooms. I also snip the stem as far down as I can without damaging the plant and remove any damaged or yellowed foliage. Kids can help with this garden chore if you explain and help them the first few times.

When late summer arrives if you would like the plant to reseed or gather the seeds, then stop the deadheading and allow the pods to form. If you don't want volunteers then keep snipping!

Also, a few annuals with tiny flowers can be "sheared" after they start to look rough. Take your garden shears or scissors and cut the top portion off-dead blooms and foliage. Usually these will grow back and bloom again!

Don't forget that many of your herbs, especially basil, should not be allowed to flower. As soon as you see it's starting to form flower heads harvest it! Exceptions to this are lavender, chives and nasturtiums. Though you do want to harvest the blooms before they wither. Lavender should be harvested before it's fully open and hung up side down.

Chive and nasturtium blooms aren't normally preserved, but you can freeze them for short periods in plastic bags and use in recipes such as dips or spreads. They also make wonderful additions to herb vinegar. Click here for tips on air drying flowers and here for tips on pressing flowers.



About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at


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