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What is deadheading & how do i do it with dianthus?

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laurielep
Joined: 5/08/2008
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 5
Posted: May/08/2008 8:55 AM PST

Don't laugh, I'm a annual virgin My husband made me some flowerboxes for our porch and bought Lobelia and Dianthus. Some of the flowers on teh dianthus died and I'm not sure what to do with them. I tried to pull off the dead flowers but didn't want to stop new growth. I read that I have to "deadhead" them and I'm not sure exactly what that means? If I am to pull off the flower, how much do I pull off??
tia
witt blog photos
Joined: 3/28/2008
Location: Lancaster, SC
Posts: 16643
Moderator
Posted: May/08/2008 9:06 AM PST

I just take my clippers and snip off the flower head. I try to go down to the next leaf or node so that I don't leave a "stubble" sticking up. I hope that helps. I'm no expert, but that's what I do.
fairygarden blog photos
Joined: 3/17/2008
Location: SC
Posts: 2104
Moderator
Posted: May/08/2008 11:35 AM PST

I rarely deadhead dianthus...they just keep making flowers regardless. But I just snap dead flowers off with my hand.
fairygarden blog photos
Joined: 3/17/2008
Location: SC
Posts: 2104
Moderator
Posted: May/08/2008 11:36 AM PST

Laurie, we were all beginners so keep asking questions. Its how you learn.
laurielep
Joined: 5/08/2008
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 5
Posted: May/08/2008 1:22 PM PST

Thank you!
I pulled the flowers off and little hairy things came with it. I only did it to a few so I will snap the others off and leave some on to see which way works the best.

I do have lots of questions but have to switch forums

thanks again!
Vera_EWASH
Joined: 9/08/2005
Location: Central Idaho
Posts: 296
Posted: May/17/2008 10:43 PM PST

Deadheading is done to prevent plants from producing seed...instead the energy is used to continue producing flowers.
I deadhead by pinching flowers off just above the closest set of leaves or by using clippers. It all depends on how soft the stems are (like Petunia) and and if a clean break can be made with just the fingers....and of course the amount of work to be done. For example, I always have a pretty big drift of re-seedong Plains Coreopsis and rather than pinch off or snip of individual flowers as they fade I let a good majority get spent before taking a sheers and clipping it back quite a bit in one big swoop. This particular annual can produce hundreds of blooms at one time and you can imagine how long it would take to pick each individual faded bloom!! Taking it back to just above a set of leaves or young immature flower buds is also more pleasing to look at
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