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Deadheading Keeps Summer Perennials Beautiful

Deadheading Keeps Summer Perennials Beautiful

Coneflower, after deadheading, with new growth and flowers. Photo Credit Matthew Orwat, UF/IFAS Extension

Coneflower, after deadheading, with new growth and flowers. Photo Credit Matthew Orwat, UF/IFAS Extension

 

During these “dog days”, full of hot temperatures punctuated with intermittent rain, gardeners can lose the motivation to get out there and get things done. One task, deadheading, can make a huge difference in the appearance of one’s landscape without a whole lot of effort.

The act of deadheading is the removal of individual blooms or flowering stalks that are past their prime. When deadheading, always trim the stem to an area above a node. The node can be determined by the presence of a leaf and its attachment to a stem. This area is known as the leaf axle.

Roses before and after deadheading Photo Credit Matthew Orwat, UF/IFAS Extension

Roses before and after deadheading Photo Credit Matthew Orwat, UF/IFAS Extension

Roses before and after deadheading Photo Credit Matthew Orwat, UF/IFAS Extension

Roses before and after deadheading Photo Credit Matthew Orwat, UF/IFAS Extension

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The main benefit of deadheading flowering shrubs and perennials, particularly in the spring and summer, is that removal of spent flowers promotes new growth and more flowers. It also eliminates unsightly seed stalks and decaying petals from the landscape. If trying to save seed or promote re-seeding, do not deadhead in the fall or near the terminal side of a given season for any plant.

Once proper deadheading is performed, new growth will emerge from the trimmed area. Oftentimes, this new growth is another single flower or flower cluster.

 

Salvia, before and after deadheading Photo Credit Matthew Orwat, UF/IFAS Extension

Salvia, before and after deadheading Photo Credit Matthew Orwat, UF/IFAS Extension

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While this process is generally used for repeat flowering shrubs, such as roses, it can also be used effectively on crapemyrtle, salvia, cone flower, coreopsis, and many others.

Promote an extended bloom season in the garden and deadhead!

 

PG

Author: Matthew Orwat – mjorwat@ufl.edu

Matthew J. Orwat started his career with UF / IFAS in 2011 and is the Horticulture Extension Agent for Washington County Florida. His goal is to provide educational programming to meet the diverse needs of and provide solutions for homeowners and small farmers with ornamental, turf, fruit and vegetable gardening objectives. Please feel free to contact him with any questions you may have.
http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/about/

Matthew Orwat

Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/07/15/deadheading-keeps-summer-perennials-beautiful/