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Flowers That Don't Need to Be Deadheaded

 Flowers that do not need

Deadheading is the process of cutting off old, faded flowers to refresh the look of perennials and annuals and to encourage these plants to bloom again. While garden favorites like geraniums, dianthus, cosmos and marigolds benefit from deadheading, plenty of popular flowers don't need deadheading.

Some plants naturally shed old flowers as they fade, while others self-sow and produce new, free plants for your garden. Find out which plants don't need deadheading and maintain your flower garden with ease.

1. Begonias

Pinch back spent begonia flowers will refresh the look of your plants and make them bushier, but it's not really necessary. Most begonias (Begonia spp.) are self-cleaning, meaning they naturally drop their petals after flowering. You don't need to kill these plants to keep producing flowers.

2. Annual lobelia

If you've been very busy in your garden this summer, you don't have to worry about dying annual lobelias (Lophila erinus). While perennial lobelias like the cardinal flower can benefit from pruning, annual lobelias are plants that usually drop their petals after flowering without help from gardeners. These plants can be pruned lightly in summer, but annual lobelias usually do well on their own.

3. Red poppies

Deadheading red poppies (Papavar rhea), also known as Flanders or corn poppies, is an optional step that some gardeners prefer to avoid. The flowers that remain on the plant fall to the ground in the fall and mature into seed pods filled with tiny seeds that germinate into new poppies in the spring. Allowing red poppies to self-seed is an easy way to get more plants for your garden, but you can also trim them back to control their spread and extend the blooming season.

4. Black-Eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) is another popular plant that you can choose to deadhead or not. When deadheading black-eyed Susans are trimmed and blooming, cutting off old flowers prevents the plants from going to seed. This can be a good thing if you don't want your black-eyed Susan plants to spread, but if you want the plants to self-seed and attract seed-eating birds like goldfish, leave the flowering plants alone.

5. False Indigo

Many plants may be deadheaded for a neat appearance, but deadheading with false indigo (Baptisia spp.) is not recommended. Prevents reblooming of these perennials, which are attractive accents in fall and winter flowerbeds.

6. Some zinnias

Most zinnia plants (Zinnia spp.) need to be deadheaded after flowering for bushy growth and repeat blooms. However, if you like both zinnias and low-maintenance gardening, explore hybrid zinnias such as the 'Profusion' or 'Zahara' zinnia series. These annuals have all the charms of standard zinnias, but are better developed without the need for deadheading.

7. Late blooming hydrangeas

Hydrangeas (Hydrangea spp.) may die back after blooming, but it's best to stop deadheading these plants late in the season. Late-season pruning and deadheading not only expose hydrangeas to winter damage, but they also remove flower buds and reduce future blooms. Plus, if you leave late-season hydrangea flowers in place, those sturdy blooms will dry on the plant and add interest to winter gardens.

8. Impatiens

Finding plants for shade gardens can be difficult, but impatiens (Impatiens spp.) thrive in low-light areas. These easy-going flowers rarely need pruning and will look beautiful whether you die them or leave them alone. Left to their own devices, impatiens will naturally drop their old petals, but if you need your plants to grow a little faster, you can pinch back the old flower stems.

9. Astilbe

When astilbe's fluffy pink and white flowers begin to fade, there's no need to beat them. Deadheading astilbe (Astilbe spp.) plants do not induce rebloom, and dried flowers are beautiful on plants in fall and winter. You can cut back the astilbe to prevent the plants from self-seeding, but that's unnecessary.

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