Deadheading

While I'm on a roll with questions, might as well ask one more, LOL! Do you deadhead all flowers when the blooms have dried up? I have Geraniums that look pretty ugly in the middle of them because the blooms dried up....is it ok to cut them off? Also, do I deadhead the Dahlia flowers when they dry and turn ugly? Will more blooms come out of the dahlia plant, or does each plant only put out a few flowers and then they're done for the year?
So many questions...and I apologize:) I need to invest in a Neil Sperry Texas Gardener book I guess:)
Thanks! Angie
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Flowers precede fruit. If you don't wish to save seeds then most plants produce more flowers if the dead heads are removed. Dahlias included. Best Wishes.

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Most plants will conserve energy by stopping flowering once seed production is complete. Deadheading spent blooms will typically cause these plants to keep producing flowers. This is true of Geraniums (I assume you mean pelargoniums) and petunias, for example. However, there are a number of plants where this is not true that will continue to produce flowers until the end of the season regardless of whether you deadhead. Common examples include impatiens and fibrous begonias.
On the other hand if you collect seeds you wouldn't want to deadhead until seed production is complete.
Roses are another story as many of them produce attractive seedpods after flowering (called "hips"). They are often edible and I think they can be made into jams. They also provide a winter food source for birds etc. A further consideration with roses is that in colder climates you want to stop deadheading sufficiently far in advance of winter to give them a chance to stop devoting energy to flower and seed production. In my zone (6) I stop deadheading roses about mid-August.
Jim
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