Give Mother Nature a Hand and Deadhead!

JUN 24
2013

Your gardens probably look beautiful right now. Your perennials are up and your annuals are well-established, putting forth a bounty of blooms. However, this picture-perfect scene can quickly fade. As we progress further into the season, the summer months continue to bring heat and humidity contributing to a shabby, bloomed-out look in your gardens. Fear not, this less attractive stage does not have to last. You can give Mother Nature a helping hand in forcing fresh growth and more blooms by deadheading.

Deadheading is the removal of spent or faded blossoms - it is an essential practice in the garden, especially for annuals and perennials. The best time to remove spent flowers is just after the blooms fade. There are scientific reasons behind, and here is a "Bill Nye the Science Guy" version of why: The next step after the flowers fade is the formation of seeds so the plants can reproduce themselves.  The simple reason deadheading works is that the spent flowers of some plants send chemical signals back to parts of the plant below them saying, "Seeds have been made.  No more flowers are needed." But when the dead flower head is removed, the signal is instead, "No Seeds.  Develop new flower buds."

So to lengthen the time your gardens and containers look beautiful, when you see spent blooms get out there with your clippers and give Mother Nature a boost. After deadheading, it won't be long before you see beautiful new blooms!

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