Pros and Cons of Deadheading in Autumn

Pros and Cons of Deadheading in Autumn

Dahlia

Pros

  • I am still actively deadheading many plants in the hope of a more flowers from a long, warm, sunny Autumn – some hope editor
  • Plants look tidier if they are lightly trimmed when deadheading
  • Energy is put into the remaining plant rather than seed production. So plants may be better able to withstand winter and some will have a better established root system.
  • Softwood that has no time to ripen will probably suffer in the first frosts so it is pruned out
  • Dying flowerheads may rot or damage other flowers or leaves.
  • Deadheading stops unwanted seedlings from prolific seeders

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Cons

  • If you want to save seed you want seedheads to ripen on the plant. Some will dry in a greenhouse or garden shed before being stored in an airtight container. I put seeds in small ex-mail order envelopes first.
  • Some seed heads such as Honesty, Rose rugarosa,  Echinops and Teasels are left through winter for shape and to look attractive in a frost.
  • Do not deadhead ornamental plants grown for their seedheads like Iris Foettisima or Physalis
  • If you want to save seed or berries for birds and wild life do not deadhead
  • If you want self-sown seedlings for a natural garden then select what flowers to leave to run to seed.

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