What happens to Limelight flowers that are not deadheaded?

gardenerzone4(5b)August 20, 2011

What happens to Limelight if it's not deadheaded at all? What happens to the dried flower from last year? Do the florets drop off by themselves? Does the wind get them?

I deadheaded this spring, right before bud break, all the dried flower heads that I had left on over winter for interest. In doing so, I naturally shortened some tall center stems, and pruned for a round sideways egg shape.

This summer, it occurred to me as I was being miserly in cutting the shortest stem possible to bring into the house that if I hadn't deadheaded at all in the spring, maybe I could have much longer stems to cut now. Is that logical?

Most of my giant flowers are on tall shoots that grow straight up from the plant. Those are precisely the shoots that I shortened the most in my spring deadheading/shaping. So if instead of shortening the stems once in the spring while deadheading last year's flowers and once again now while taking flower cuttings, should I have just not deadheaded at all and waited till now to take extra-long stemmed flowers?

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esh_ga

True deadheading means that you just nip the dead flowers off. You went beyond that - as you said - and got into actual pruning. Sounds like the pruning stimulated some growth as you have seen.

If you just stick strictly to deadheading then you should not have the same situation next year. Just nip right under the base of the flower to remove it.

Hope that helps.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2011 at 9:33PM
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gardenerzone4(5b)

What happens if you don't even cut the flowers off? Do they end up falling off on their own? How does nature take care of it?

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 6:11AM
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esh_ga

Yes, they eventually just fall off.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 8:33PM
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cearbhaill

I don't really deadhead them in the spring.
I just grab hold of the old blooms and pull upwards and the entire flower comes off in one piece without actually shortening the stem itself at all.
Then I thin and shape however I want but the stems don't have to be shortened/pruned at all unless I choose to do so.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 4:12PM
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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

I also tend not to deadhead. While I do not record when do the blooms fall, I notice them thru December so sometime in January -or later- they must fall down on their own. By early Spring, I would think that if you just touch them, anything still clinging will fall.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 11:22PM
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