When to use Seed Harvest Envelopes & 5 reasons why to deadhead flowers

pink and white foxgloves in bloom

Flowers naturally reproduce, giving their garden loving humans a wonderful display.  However we need to do our part to keep these displays at their best, and know when to allow them to spread those seeds. I will be telling you when to use Seed Harvest Envelopes & 5 reasons why to deadhead flowers. I hope it inspires you, enjoy.

When to use Seed Harvest Envelopes

As flowers fade, the plant’s energy is devoted to producing seeds. Each year having to take a trip to the garden centre can be expensive so collecting your seeds is a great idea. Your 1st step of deciding when to collect seeds will be to decide what plants do well in your garden and what plants you would like to see again next year.  Consider which plants easy self seed and therefore can spread easily. Decide if you want them to do this or if they will be hard to control, or if you would prefer them to do this in more of a controlled way. You may want to select several plants that you can focus on seed collection. Its these plants that you will decide not to dead head put allow the plants to focus on producing those seeds.  Let the seeds dry on the plant and then collect in your paper seed envelopes.

Seed Envelopes for harvesting seeds
Seed Harvesting envelopes

You can purchase Seed Envelopes here 

when to use seed harvest envelopes -deadheading a foxglove
A foxglove ready for seed collecting – and deadheaded too late.

You may want or need somewhere to store your Seed Harvest envelopes and seed packets.  You can shop for Seed Boxes Here  or if you are interested in both our seed box organiser gift set may be for you.  This contains seed box divider cards and 2 sets of seed harvesting envelopes. You can get yours here.

Seed Box organiser gift set, showing the divider cards in the compartments.

Watch out for my blog on how to collect seeds, coming soon.

Not sure if you need a seed box? have a look at my blog 5 reasons why every Gardener should have a Seed Box

Now we have looked at When to use Seed Harvest Envelopes lets look at why we would deadhead flowers.

As mentioned previously the main aim of the plant is to reproduce. As blooms fade the energy of the plant is directed into making seeds rather than making more blooms. This reduces its vigour and would stop the plant from producing more blooms.

Deadheading  (removing the dead flower heads) is really easy, however it can be time-consuming but necessary if you want to keep your flowers blooming for as long as possible. Just do it little and often.  I do this at the same time as watering.

1. The 1st reason to deadhead flowers is to keep your flower display looking its best.

Using secateurs, or some plants are really easy to just use your fingers. Go over your containers and garden beds several times a week or if you can each morning or evening.  I find this a great time to also remove black fly or check for the health of your plants. Deadheading will prevent dead flowers from spoiling your beautiful displays. And it will look vibrant and fresh. It is also a great time to stand back and admire your garden and enjoy all your hard work.

2. Avoid plants going to seed and self setting.

If dead flowers are left too long any pollinated flowers will develop seeds & as soon as their petals fall and the seeds dry out they will self set and before you know it your garden will be overrun with plants next year where you didn’t intend. possibly spoiling your garden plan for next year. depending on the plant they can quickly become invasive. Here is a list of invasive plants to be aware of. Varieties such as poppies, foxglove and aquilegias are very quick to spread so be vigilant. Deadhead promptly to avoid them going to seed and self setting. Avoid making the mistake of deadheading too late when they are dry and the seeds go everywhere.  Sweet peas, in particular, are quick to form pods. Keep cutting the flowers for arranging, or remove dead flowers quickly.

Sweet Peas  are a good flower to save the seed in your seed harvest envelopes.

Sweet Pea pods drying out for harvesting a great example of when to use seed harvest envelopes
Sweet pea pods preparing for harvest a good example of when to use seed harvest envelopes.


3. Deadheading will avoid falling petals and causing damage to leaves

Petals that fall onto foliage will cause damage to your plants leaves. Wet petals stick to leaves and can cause rotting that leads to unsightly brown patches.  Deadheading early enough before the petals fall will avoid this problem.  So it important you try and keep on top of it.

Damaged leaves where wet petals have caused damage to the foliage.
Avoid damaged leaves by deadheading before petals drop.

4. Deadheading will help Bulbous Perennials have a healthy bulb.

Deadheading will give a better change of a healthy bulb to produce a good display next year. Bulbous perennials such as lilies, tulips and daffodils need a chance to replenish their bulbs if they’re to produce a good display of flowers next year. If they are putting their energy into forming seeds after flowering it won’t be beneficial to the bulb, so cut off flower heads once their petals fall will put the energy back int the bulb to make them strong and healthy.

Tulips - deadhead to ensure the bulb stays healthy for next season

5. Deadhead to achieve the longest display of blooms possible.

If you keep on top of deadheading the plant will be in constant need to reproduce so will keep forming blooms to hopefully set seeds, as you deadhead and remove this chance it will keep putting its energy into producing more flowers, so will greatly extend the flowering lifespan of your plants and you will hopefully keep wonderful blooms for as long as possible through the plants life. I think this is one of the best reasons to keep deadheading your flowers. Remember if you are going away on holiday to be extra proactive of removing fading flower heads before you go so you will have a wonderful bloom when you return and avoid your plants fading away altogether.

Deadheading a Hydrangea


When to use seed harvest envelopes, collecting and sowing seeds

If you sow your own seeds or have decided to make that step to give seed collecting a go why not have a read of my blog What is the best way to store seeds for a Year?  It will help explain how to keep your seeds healthy.

I hope you have enjoyed reading about When to use Seed Harvest Envelopes & 5 reasons why to deadhead flowers. I hope this has inspired you to get deadheading. You will start to see the advantages of longer blooming plants and fresher displays and hopefully healthier plants. I also hope this has inspired you to experiment collecting your own seeds as you now know when to use seed harvest envelopes. Remember you can get yours here.

Thanks for reading

Liz x

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