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How to keep your plants flowering all summer

Most gardeners have heard of the term Deadheading, - taking off spent flowers from Roses and annuals, to make they last longer. But I like Sarah Raven's phrase of Live heading, to mean taking off flowers while they are still looking good enough to put in a vase, and creating new flower growth in the meantime.

Yesterday I had a great example of that with Erysimum Bowles Mauve

This Purple everlasting Wallflower is a short lived perennial, but this one has now been in 3 years and is going strong.

It started flowering in March, and although the flowers aren't dead yet, I want to encourage lots of new growth to keep it flowering all the way through to December (which it did last year), so I gave it a good live heading.

I took all the flower stems back to the next leaf joint, and in most cases, there were some buds waiting to grow away there. When I finished, the plant looked just as purple, but not as scraggly.

These are Erysimum viewed over the neighbours fence, - planted at the same time, these now have almost no leaves on them, as they don't get liveheaded or even deadheaded.

So getting you secateurs or snips to your plants can make your garden floriferous, and save you money.


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Hi Claire,
Thanks for your comment on my blog. I've noticed differences in bloom times for different places, and also even in my town. There are bachelor buttons in yards that have been blooming for a couple weeks, and mine are just now starting to bloom. All are self sown.

I like your idea for live heading. I'm a big deadheader. I do like to get to them as soon as they fade, but I'll have to think about bringing some blooms inside.

I've seen that wallflower before. I keep forgetting to look for it. I have the orange/yellowish kind.

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