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Managing Self-seeding Perennials

Self-seeding perennials can be considered a gift or curse.  Put these plants to work for you in your garden.

Self-seeding perennials like blackberry lily, phlox, columbine, hellebore and purple coneflower are notorious self-seeders. Keep this in mind when adding these plants to your garden.

Otherwise, allow their seedlings to develop into large masses for an informal look when space allows. Dig and divide when they outgrow their location.

Or use seedlings to fill in bare areas and to start new planting beds. Trade extras with friends or donate them to community groups or gardeners on a budget.

Still too many? Then deadhead heavy seeders to prevent them from setting seed and propagating more plants than you need.

And always eliminate invasive plants, those self-seeders that jump the bounds of the garden and take over nearby natural areas.

A bit more information: Those with limited time or an aversion to thinning may want to avoid these plants. Look for sterile cultivars of your favorite flower or those marketed to be less prolific.

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