Deadheading Increases Flowering
The main reason for removing old, dead flowers (referred to as “dead-heading”) is to improve the appearance of the landscape. However dead-heading will also increase the amount of bloom of many annual and perennial flowers. Plants produce flowers to reproduce themselves. After a flower has been pollinated and produces seed, plants often consider their job done. When dead flowers are removed, this stimulates many plants to bloom again. Some flower varieties only produce one set of bloom at a specific time of year and will not bloom again even if the flowers are removed.
Some of our most popular annual flowers either drop old flowers naturally or grow new leaves which cover the dead flowers. Petunias, Impatiens, Begonias, Marigolds, Pansies, Alyssum and Lobelia fit in this group. They continue to bloom and make a colorful show even without dead-heading. Most perennial flowers benefit by dead-heading.