Should I be removing seed pods from my plants?

luvmyfish(z5 IN)September 23, 2011

I have a few plants that make seed pods after blooming. Butterfly weed, daylily, false indigo, another type of lily (maybe asiatic?) and rose of sharon. I have a swamp mallow/rose mallow also but don't know if they make seed pods (just planted it in August). I thought I read that you should cut off the seed pods when they appear so that they make more flowers next year. Is this true of all plants that make pods like this or just certain ones? Thank you.


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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Unless I plan on saving the seed, I remove seedpods. I would like the plant to put the energy into more root development. Next years bloom will be better on a stronger plant. Al

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 9:50AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I thought I read that you should cut off the seed pods when they appear so that they make more flowers next year. Removing seed pods is called deadheading. This is usually done right after the flowers turn brown so the plant is encouraged to make more flowers this year. This works better on annuals than perennials. Another reason to remove seeds is so that you don't have to pull the sprouts from all of those seeds next year.

Is this true of all plants that make pods like this or just certain ones? While it's always a good idea to remove seeds you don't want sprouting next year, perennial plants are designed to make flowers and seeds every year, regardless of what their keeper does to them.

Some flower seeds have a reputation for being good for attracting various birds and gardeners will choose to leave these seeds on the plants sometimes for that reason but none of the plants you listed are ones I would consider to be in this category.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 10:12AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5


you remove flowers immediately after the flowers fade .. so they will rebloom THE SAME YEAR .... it has nothing to do with next year ...

like peeps.. a plant has ONLY ONE goal in life.. procreation.. furthering of the gene pool.. they all make seed ...

the issue is which seed will winter over in your zone .. not many do in z5 ... as the native range of many of our perennials are much further south ... vermin.. birds.. etc ...

one of the biggest nightmare seeders in my garden was a mallow.. no clue which one.. by the third year.. i had about a billion of them.. and 5 years after killing them all.. i am still getting seedlings ..

daylily .. not only makes seed .. but multiplies by rhizome dividing... the rhizomes are the same flower .. seeds.. with genes and dna and all.. are useless.. in regard to the flower you have... they are snapped off as soon as the flowers fade.. unless you want to play with seed .. we would rather have the energy spent on divisions grown underground.. rather than the seed

good luck


    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 1:13PM
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luvmyfish - you mentioned mostly perennials so it might be worth borrowing a book or two about them from your local library in addition to posting questions here. There are countless books available that will give you information on growing perennials, their habits and needs as well as their bloom season. I started keeping a garden diary when I got serious about perennial gardening and have added/referred to it many times over the past few years.

I leave seedpods on my plants intentionally so I can harvest seeds to winter sow. Winter sowing my own seeds is an economical way of expanding my garden beds with the healthiest plants at the lowest possible cost. Plus it gives me an excuse to have my hands in dirt right through the long cold months. In addition to harvesting seeds to winter sow, I also trade seeds via the Seed Exchange here on GardenWeb.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2011 at 5:56PM
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