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:)
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.
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