Sun perennials provide brilliant colors, a variety of shapes and sizes and add pizzazz to any home garden. In order to keep your sun perennials their best, however, you need to deadhead the flowers on a regular basis. Here are some tips.
Tip #1-Inspect Sun Perennials
Go through your garden of sun perennials to visually inspect each one. It will be pretty obvious which blooms are faded, spent, dead or nearly-gone. These are the flowers you need to deadhead.
- Deadheading – This is the process in which you remove, pick off, snip, pinch, and prune or cut off the dead blossoms of your plants. Deadheading is valuable for your sun perennials for two reasons: one – it promotes new growth and, two – it makes your garden look better.
Tip #2: How To Deadhead Sun Perennials
Depending on the type of sun perennial you have, you may need to pick off just the spent blooms. On others, you need to be a little more aggressive.
- Jacob’s Ladder (whose botanical name is Polemonium caeruleum), a silvery-green leafy perennial produces clusters of lavender blue flowers on long, 1-1/2 foot to 2-foot spiky stems. When the blooms at the tip die out, the spikes on the stems start to turn yellow. This is the time to cut off the entire stem down to the base of the plant. If you only snip off the faded bloom, you’ll leave the unsightly yellow stem. No further blooms will come from this stem. It needs to be removed. The plant will continue to produce new stems and new flowers once you deadhead the old ones.
- Do not cut the flower stalk down to the base on woody plants such as lavender.
- Roses, on the other hand, have flowers on stems that have multiple sections with leaves. When deadheading roses, remove the bloom and stem down to the first area with a cluster of leaves. The plant will be tricked into thinking it needs to reproduce, and new growth and flowers will shoot out from this area.
- Salvia is another sun perennial you can cut just above the leaves growing below the dead blossoms. New growth may shoot out from the leaf nodes, or the part of the plant that meets the stem.
Tip #3: Know When To Deadhead
For some sun perennials, you will need to deadhead on a regular basis.
- Take the Pink Marguerite, for example (officially a Chrysanthemum frutescens), a bright green, coarse-leafed perennial with pink, button-shaped flowers. Pink Marguerite can bloom like crazy and then hundreds of tiny blooms wither and turn brown. Snip off these dead blooms far enough down the stem so that you don’t see it. Otherwise, you’ll have hundreds of browning and unsightly stems peeking out of the perennial. You will need to continually deadhead this type of sun perennial.
- Other sun perennials, such as Iris, you can cut down to the base of the stalk. Once that stalk has bloomed, there’s no sense in keeping it. You may get another stalk to grow next to it and bloom anew. This does happen with established plants. But definitely remove the old and dead bloom and stalk.
Tip #4: Collecting Seeds From Sun Perennials
When you deadhead your sun perennials, you may wish to collect seeds for propagating new flowers. If you leave the spent blooms on the plant, however, the seeds will eventually fall to the ground and begin to grow. If you don’t want this to happen, definitely deadhead.