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Deadheading Flowers for Maximum Beauty

Keep your flowers blooming longer and your garden tidier with a bit of deadheading.

Remove the flower stem of salvias and snapdragons as the bloom begins to fade.  Use a pruner or sharp garden scissors and cut just above the first set of leaves or the side shoots where new flower buds are forming.

Plants like daylilies and balloon flower require a bit different care. Remove the individual blooms as they fade.  Once all the individual flowers have bloomed out, you can cut the flower stem back at the base. 

You may want to skip deadheading late blooming perennials.  This allows them to form seed pods for a bit of winter interest.

Deadheading won’t extend the bloom for columbine but it will prevent reseeding - if that is a concern for you.  Prune the flowering stems back to their base in the foliage.

And deadheading peonies is strictly for aesthetics.  Removing the seedpods as they form, back to a healthy set of leaves, helps keep stems upright and makes for a tidier plant throughout the summer.

A bit more information:  Flowers labeled as self-cleaning or free-flowering like impatiens do not need deadheading.  They shed their old flowers and keep producing new blooms throughout the season.  Fibrous begonias, calibrachoa, and moss rose are other self cleaning annuals.  Lobelia, wave and supertunias petunias, and verbena are also self cleaning but may benefit from a bit of grooming.  Pinch back heat stressed lobelia and verbena that get leggy and petunia stems that need to be kept in-bounds.

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