Petunias flowers care deadheading

To Deadhead or Not to Deadhead...

May 31, 2013 – 07:16 am

Tuttle Orchards, Growing

The phrase Deadhead has a whole different meaning for those of us who are gardeners, rather than the general public out there. If you google either Dead Head or deadhead the search results will return information on fans of the Grateful Dead not the act of removing spent blooms from plants. It takes typing in ‘Gardening Deadhead’ to get results that will be helpful in learning more about keeping plants in bloom.

I am often the person who answers questions sent in by gardeners and recently one of the most common questions has been when and how to deadhead specific plants. In this article I will give a brief summary of why deadheading is sometimes necessary, how you should deadhead, and which Proven Winners® plants need deadheading.

First, what exactly is deadheading? This gardening term simply means to remove the old spent blooms including any developing seed from a plant to help keep it blooming longer.

Your next question is likely to be “Why does a plant bloom more if you remove old flowers?” In the grand scheme of things flowers are meant to ensure survival of the species. All of the various blooms that nature developed (not plant breeders) are an attempt to ensure that seeds are produced and the next generation of plants develops. In some cases, once seed has been produced thus ensuring the survival of the species, the plant will stop blooming since there is no reason to put energy into blooming any longer.

It was probably a gardener that figured out removing old flowers before they produce seed will keep plants blooming longer. This can be a rather time consuming endeavor, but many times is considered a labor of love. In more recent times, plant breeders have put a lot of effort into increasing the blooming time of plants. Someone then realized that sterile plants, those that do not produce seed, will bloom continuously even when you don’t deadhead. These plants keep on trying, unsuccessfully, to produce seed so they keep producing flowers. Rather frustrating for the plant, but easy for the gardener.


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I'd include sweet alyssum with the petunias

I have white sweet alyssum planted with white petunias at the top of my retaining wall, and it's a pretty combination: tiny, snow-flake alyssum flowers with larger, delicate petunias. It would look very nice in the pots next to your mailbox: two alyssum plants and two petunia plants in each pot. I got the idea from an upscale nursery here in Seattle. They had that combination in a gigantic pot, and it looked just beautiful. I don't know if this matters to you as a beginner, but sweet alyssum attracts many beneficial insects to your garden, and that reduces problems with pests.
I've always found the light blue petunias with the dark blue veins to be very pretty

Rambling Star Petunia Seed Pack, 100 Seeds
Lawn & Patio ()
  • Fresh seeds
  • Colorful
  • Get for borders, beds and planters
  • Lovely blooms! Make your neighbors jealous!

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