” Off with her head” the queen screamed at Alice in the Lewis Carroll story “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”. Now I’m not exactly sure if Lewis had an interest in gardening but he might well have actually been offering us some horticultural direction which will give us a longer flowering season. There is a technique known as dead-heading, it is an easy job which takes a couple of minutes nevertheless includes days and sometimes weeks to your blooming display screen.
How to dead-head
If you’ve never ever dead-headed before here’s how set about it… To start with keep a watchful eye on your flowering plants, paying attention to blooms that are past their best.
ONCE A FLOWER HAS BEGAN TO FADE ELIMINATE IT FROM THE PLANT WITH A QUICK SNIP FROM YOUR SECATEURS, ALTERNATIVELY KNIP IT OFF WITH YOUR THUMB AND FOREFINGER.
When doing this try to eliminate simply the spent flower leaving the new buds underneath undamaged.
The lots of advantages
Your beds and borders now look neater due to the lack of fading flowers however how else has this deadheading process helped us? Well by removing the spent flowers we have prevented the plant from setting seed which if it did would trigger the production of a hormonal agent which causes blooming to shut down completely. So by our small playing with Mother Nature we can typically force the plant to put its energies into a second flush of flower production instead of seed production. Remember that your planting need to have an abundant supply of nutrients to provide a secondary flowering.
Plants that respond well to dead-heading
Dead-heading works especially well on perennials and a lot of annual bedding specifically Antirrhinums (Snapdragons), Violas (Pansies) and Dianthus (Sugary Food Williams) although it can often be difficult to carry out on really little flowers or on large and floriferous shrubs. Shrubs which respond well to dead-heading consist of Buddleia (Butterfly bush), Syringa (Lilac) and some Spireas. Roses obviously are perfect candidates for this strategy to guarantee more blossoms prior to the rose-hips form.