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Deadheading Flowers – Necessary or not?

rose in need of deadheading

If you work for an airline then to you “deadheading” means flying free of charge when you’re not working but for us gardeners it means carefully removing faded blooms. I find it quite enjoyable and certainly preferable to some other gardening tasks such as digging but is deadheading flowers really necessary? The answer is undoubtedly yes but it does depend on the plant.

Reasons for deadheading flowers:

  • Keeps the plant looking tidy and with plants such as roses stops the petals from scattering
  • Encourages the plant to produce more flowers (which of course leads to more deadheading!)
  • Directs energy into stronger growth

Worth deadheading:

Not worth deadheading:

  • Plants that bear autumn berries
  • Roses with attractive hips
  • Plants with attractive seed heads
  • Sunflowers – leave them for the birds!
  • Plants such as lobelia that produce numerous tiny flowers

The jury seems to be out as to whether or not it is worth deadheading the larger varieties of Fuchsia. The small bedding ones yes but maybe not the larger What do you think? If you have any thoughts on this do please post a comment, I’d be interested to know.

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