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12/30/2010 in winter gardening

The first time someone told me to cut off the seed pods and throw them away, I was shocked!
That just wasn’t cool, I’d spent my entire life (up to that point) watching the natural process…

The plant comes up, the plant blooms, sets fruit and the birds eat what they want, and the seedpods help to identify the plant when it’s dormant…

When people cut off the seeds, the birds suffer, the plant gets damaged by attempts to put new stuff in that “empty” space, and you miss out on half of the plant’s natural cycle…

I’ve always thought that the seedpods were attractive in their own light…

Little bluestem in seed
little bluestem
More little bluestem pictures on grass post

the dune sunflower seedhead
dune sunflower seedhead

agalinis purpurea seedpods

Chenopodium giganteum seed

butterfly weed seed

Of course, You really need many plants to set seeds if you’re interested in next year’s flowers…

Blackeyed susan seedlings
blackeyed susan seedlings

Someone once wrote me… Asking what happened to their blackeyed susans… They’d “dead headed” the previous year, and didn’t understand why they didn’t have any flowers… In my garden, rudbeckia hirta is strictly a biennial, dying soon after blooming… you won’t keep it blooming by cutting off the seeds.

All pictures taken December 2010

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4 responses to deadheading

  1. Beautiful pics…The only reference to “dead-heading” Ive heard related to annuals and keeping them blooming, even then, its a great idea to dry them and share or to toss them amongst your other gardens.
    Have a beautiful day:) .

  2. stone said on 12/30/2010

    I’ve brought native perennials to people, plants that I’d discovered growing wild in my garden…
    These people immediately cut the plants down in an attempt to get it to re-bloom… They didn’t know anything about the new plant, yet they immediately mutilated a beautiful plant without taking the time for observation.
    Thanks for the comment Mary…

  3. Hope said on 06/23/2015

    What about dead heading bulbs like daffodils?

    • stone said on 08/05/2015

      I wouldn’t bother…
      Daffodils actually produce seed… And… I always want more…

      And… Some people want to cut their bulbs back… Because they don’t enjoy the foliage… Bulbs need that foliage for next year’s flowers…

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