By: Garden Gate staff
| 1 of 4
Deadheading is a must when you want the most flowers possible. But there are other reasons to remove faded flowers, too. Perennials with a single bloom period redirect the energy they would’ve used to produce more blossoms into their foliage and roots instead, which makes plants bigger and stronger for the next season.
To learn more about why, when and how to deadhead three popular perennials, just click through!
| 2 of 4
Black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia fulgida sullivantii and hybrids
WHY DEADHEAD? Prolong the bloom time of this perennial by snipping off the faded flowers or cutting fresh ones for bouquets.
WHAT TO DO Because the flower stems can be tough, use pruners to cut them. Tidy the plant by snipping just above the nearest leaf. To stimulate a late crop of blooms, cut lower and remove clusters of spent flowers — the blooms that follow will be smaller.
| 3 of 4
Catmint Nepeta spp. and hybrids
WHY DEADHEAD? By midsummer, flowers are past and the plant looks tired — it often splits open in the center, too. Plus, cutting it back helps reduce the risk of catmint self-seeding.
WHAT TO DO See the major difference in the “Before” photo? Catmint takes hard pruning in stride, so cut all of the stems back by at least half after most of the flowers are finished. To create the rounded shape here, use a pair of hedge shears. In a week or two, plants will fill in and many will rebloom by late summer.
| 4 of 4
Ligularia Ligularia spp. and hybrids
WHY DEADHEAD? Tall stems hold the bright gold ligularia flowers, but once they’re past, the big dried petals are hard to ignore. After deadheading, you might get a smaller rebloom of a few flowers on shorter stems.
WHAT TO DO Pull the faded flower stem down to one side to make it easier to locate its base, just like we did here. Then remove it below the foliage so you won’t see the stub. Because the stems are pithy, cut them at an angle with hand pruners to keep water from entering the stem, where it could cause crown rot.