I recently planted a Little Henry Sweet Spire. The flowers have now faded, and I was wondering do I need to remove them? Tried searching for an answer but couldn't find one, thanks for any help!
There is no need to remove them.
If you didn't remove them last year, you may have regretted it. We have three, and my husband objected to the dead blooms, which seem to persist forever. So I started removing them but finished one shrub and gave up -- tedious work!. However, that one looked better and healthier all season and seemed to have more vigor this spring. By now, they all look pretty good, so I'm not sure whether I'll face the task this year...
If your husband is the one who objected, why wasn't he the one to remove the "offensive" dead blooms? Just wondering :0)
You don't have to remove the spent flowers/blooms, but as MountainLaurel points out, if you don't, some energy from the shrub will go into seed production. The less energy that goes into seed production, the more energy is directed towards the overall health of the shrub.
This is true of most shrubs, trees, perennials, annuals. But then again, you won't see me on a ladder dead-heading a flowering tree! ;)
Best of luck!
ps - Isn't little henry cool?
Hopefully someone knows how to keep it from spreading?
I don't remove the blooms.
I've had mine for several years - love this plant - don't be alarmed if it's late to wake up in spring. It's usually one of the last plants to show any green growth.
I've found that the best way to keep it from spreading is to simply pull out the "travellers" along the edges from the main part of the shrub. I usually do this in early-mid spring. Plus, what you pull out can make great gifts!
I bought one of these mid summer for 5 bucks . Planted it right beside my front steps. I like it a lot. It's got a great form, flower and autumn color. It does run. I'm glad to know it's easy to take these runners and transplant them.
I'm glad shinykat posted this question. I also planted 3 'Little Henry' sweetspire this spring. Based on mountainlaurel's experience, it sounds like it may be wise to remove the spent blooms the first year so that they will put their energy into growing roots instead of seed. Or can someone let me know if this is not an accurate assessment so I don't end up creating busywork for myself?
I didn't deadhead mine and grew just fine. I guess if you have time, do it. If not oh well.