Many perennials in the garden will bloom longer if you do one thing.
Pinching and deadheading perennials are almost the same thing. But pinching is usually what you would do to a plant when it is starts growing to make it bushier. It creates more branches upon which to develop flowers .
Deadheading is removing the spent flower before it tries to “seed”, or the plants thinks it has finished for the year and just starts to die back. I like to use [easyazon_link identifier=”B0000950PY” locale=”US” nw=”y” nf=”y” tag=”thehypegard0d-20″ cart=”n” cloak=”n” localize=”n”] Floral Snips [/easyazon_link] for deadheading. I like this type because I hate the little catch on regular pruners that keeps locking it, do you know what I mean? Snips are smaller and fit my pocket easier.
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The plant will use its energy to try to make more flowers instead of trying to make that dried up blossom into a seed.
Here is a short video of me deadheading my Balloon Flowers.
When you have finished deadheading, be sure to cut some nice flower to put inside on the table or windowsill. It will cheer you up for the next few days. Or longer.
It is especially nice to see a tiny vase of flowers on the bathroom vanity. It just brightens my morning. And a tiny vase in the powder room for guests!
Deadheading and pinching work on most perennials, and you can also pinch and deadhead annuals. They will bloom longer and your garden will look better, because all the spent blossoms can look very ragged.
The plant in the above picture is the “Sentimental Blue” which is the dwarf cultivar. The video has the regular tall variety which grows 24″ tall on average.
Most can be pinched/deadheaded with your fingers. Keep a vinyl glove handy to put in your hand and pinch away. That way, you don’t ruin your nails as you take the last look around your garden when you are ready to leave to go somewhere. Or grab your scissors that you keep in the shed. They work just fine.
In the fall, leave some spent blossoms to go to seed, and save them to sow or share. These balloon flowers are wonderful at reseeding. Just let some of the blooms remain and dry out. There will be tiny black seeds to plant. Or just let them fall to the ground and you will have many new plants next spring with no problem. Mother Nature will take care of their care during the winter.
In spring, you can gently dig them up before they get too big and transplant where you want them. Great new plants for free!
Do you share seeds or new sprouting plants with friends or family?