Deadheading can be strangely satisfying. Unlike indoor chores, dishwashing, for instance, where you do the same thing over and over and get the same result—clean dishes—deadheading has a double reward.
One, the wonderful cleanup effect
Ugly seedheads are off so your garden looks less forlorn and…dead. There’s nothing that perks up a garden like deadheading.
Two, you initiate a chain reaction that brings more flowers
What household chore does that?
Deadheading is all about thwarting the plant’s desires. A plant wants to reproduce to continue its own species. It makes flowers which are pollinated, mature into seeds, and drop on the ground, starting the whole thing up again.
A plant making seeds is a good thing, but, in our flower gardens, we want flowers, and lots of them. So, to have a plant keep putting its energy into making flowers, instead of next years seeds, we have to thwart its effort to make those seeds, by chopping off dead flower heads, as often and as early as possible.
I’ve now found the most perfect deadheading tool
Made by Fiskars, they are a small, spring loaded straight blade pruner, ideal for small jobs: The Fiskars Micro Tip pruner. They fit into my hand perfectly, and make the job easy and satisfying. (Only hitch is the pointy-ness which makes them not so pocket-friendly) I can wholeheartedly endorse this pruner for all gardeners, and no I don’t own any shares in Fiskars!
When I take a walk through the garden I try to always have this pruner in my hands, as it makes garden maintenance almost effortless. Admire garden, snip, watch bees buzzing in the milkweed, snip, snip, tuck in a loose tendril of passionflower, snip, snip, sip tea, snip, snip. Walk over to Helen’s garden, snip, snip. And so forth.
Plants in my garden that need frequent deadheading are geraniums, fuschias, columbines, foxgloves, lilies, gaillardia, and daisies. Grab the best little pruner in the world, keep those flowers coming, and cut those heads off!