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Grow with KARE: Deadheading

Bleeding hearts, phlox, salvia and lupine are some of the more common varieties that are great candidates for deadheading.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — Let’s talk about deadheading. It’s a bit tedious and also never-ending but it can make a big difference in your garden.

As flowers fade and petals drop off, the plant starts to put its energy into making seeds, rather than making more flowers. But by properly cutting off the old blooms you can trick the plant into making more flowers instead. That’s called deadheading and it works for both annuals and perennials.

Bleeding hearts, phlox, salvia and lupine are some of the more common varieties that are great candidates for deadheading.

But you can’t just go shearing away.

Follow the stem down from the spent bloom to just above the next set of healthy leaves or just above the next flower bud, whichever comes first. Then just snip or pinch it off.

Like weeding, it’s best to deadhead a little bit each day or it can be an overwhelming task.

Toss the old flowers in the compost and you’re good to go!