May Garden Tips...
Removing the spent blooms on flowering plants (deadheading) not only looks better, but it can extend bloom time!
There are three ways to deadhead:
1. Snip. Use hand pruners or a pair of sharp scissors to deadhead flowers that feature tougher, almost woody stems. The key is to cut off the spent flower a quarter-inch above the next bud. Other flowers to snip include peony, aster, coneflower (Echinacea spp.), coreopsis, hosta, zinnia, lily, and Rudbeckia. Cut off the faded spikes of these flowers to encourage a second flush of bloom: delphinium, floxglove, veronica, salvia, yarrow, geranium, and rose.
2. Break off. Breaking off the flower where the stem meets the stalk is the way to successfully deadhead long-stem flowers like day lilies. Pull down gently on the spent flower until it cleanly snaps off. Other flowers to break off include iris, Gladiola, and hollyhock.
3. Pinch. Use your thumb and forefinger to pinch off old blooms, especially on compact plants that feature many flowers. Pinch off faded flowers about a quarter-inch above new buds. Pinch impatiens, marigold, pansy, petunia, viola, dianthus, poppy, cosmos, and columbine.