By: Tonya Barnett, (Author of FRESHCUTKY)
Perennial daylilyplants are a popular choice for both professional and homelandscapers. With their long bloom times throughout the summer season and widerange of color, daylilies find themselves at home in even some of the mostdifficult growing spaces. This, in tandem with a high tolerance to plantdisease and insects, makes them an excellent addition to flower borders.
As the name implies, the actual flowers of the daylily plantwill only bloom for one day. Luckily, each plant will produce multiple blooms thatcome into flower continuously, creating the beautiful visual display that itsgrowers have come to love. But what happens once these blooms begin to fade? Isdaylily deadheading necessary?
The process of deadheadingrefers to removing the spent blooms. This is a common practice in manyperennial and annual flower gardens, and also applies to care of daylilyplants. Deadheading daylily flowers is a simple process. Once the flowers havebloomed and started to fade, they can then be removed using a pair of sharpgarden snips.
Removing the old flowers from the daylily (deadheading) isnot necessary. However, it does have some benefits in regards to helpingmaintain a healthy and vibrant garden. For many tidy gardeners, removing spentdaylily blooms is essential, as the old blooms may create an unkempt appearancein the flower bed.
More importantly, daylily flowers may be removed from plantsin order to promote better growth and bloom. Once flowers have bloomed, one oftwo things may occur. While unpollinated flowers will simply fall from theplant, those that have been pollinated will begin to form seed pods.
The formation of seed pods will require quite a bit ofenergy to be taken away from the plant. Instead of using energy to strengthenthe root system or to encourage more flowers, the plant will direct itsresources towards the maturation of the seed pods. Therefore, it is often the bestcourse of action to remove these structures.
Deadheading a large planting of daylilies may be timeconsuming. Though the flowers will bloom on a daily basis, there is no need todeadhead the plants on that same schedule. Many gardeners find that deadheadingthe daylily plants several times throughout the growing season is sufficientenough to keep the garden looking clean and tidy.
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Meyers says that the best time to prune your hydrangeas depends on the species. "Bigleaf hydrangeas, such as Endless Summer, should be deadheaded when the first set of flowers sprouts from last year's growth in the spring, as it eliminates the faded flowers before the next flush appears," she explains. "If you want a longer stem, you can make a deeper cut as long as it is done before July or August when the plant begins forming buds for next year's flowers." For smooth hydrangeas, she suggests removing the faded flowers as soon as they fade to green to ensure a second flush of smaller flowers in the fall.
According to Myers, how you deadhead your hydrangeas is every bit as important as when you do it. "Locate the first set of full-sized leaves beneath the flower, and make your cut right above it," she says. "Essentially, you're removing the faded flowers to reveal a set of healthy leaves. This can be done right after flowering, or in late winter or early spring."
Daylilies (Hemerocallis spp.) are perennials prized for their plentiful, colorful blooms and an ability to tolerate a range of soils and conditions. Daylily blooms appear on a scape, a long leafless stalk that grows directly out of the ground and holds multiple flowers. Although each individual flower blooms for only a day, a specimen's flowering period can last over a month some cultivars even offer multiple flowering periods throughout the year. Regularly removing spent flowers and seed pods, as well as the entire scape once it has finished blooming helps to keep a daylily tidy and attractive.
Identify which flowers are spent and warrant removal. Spent blooms look wilted or limp while new buds are firm and plump.
Press down gently on the spent flower or seed pod near where it meets the scape. This slight pressure will easily force the old bloom or seed pod off.
Cut each scape back to within a few inches of the ground after all of the flowers on that scape have finished blooming. Use a sharp-bladed tool and disinfect the tool's blade or blades between cuts with rubbing alcohol or a bleach solution to prevent the spread of disease.