The pretty blanket flower is a native North American wildflower that has become a popular perennial. In the same group as sunflowers, the blooms are daisy-like with striking stripes of red, orange, and yellow. Knowing if, how, and when to deadhead blanket flowers is key to keeping up these otherwise very easy-to-grow perennials.
Do Blanket Flowers Need to Be Deadheaded?
The simplest answer is no. Removing blooms on blanket flower that are spent is not necessary to the survival or growth of the plant. The reason that people deadhead flowering plants is to keep the flowers going longer, to avoid seed production, and just to keep the plant looking nice and tidy.
For perennials like blanket flower, you can get all of these benefits from deadheading. Most importantly though, removing the spent blooms allows the plant to put more energy into additional growth, producing more flowers, and storing energy for next year. This is because when you remove the flowers, they don’t have to use that energy to make seeds.
A reason not to deadhead some perennials is to allow them to self-seed. Some flowers spread out and fill up areas of beds if you let the flowers stay on the plant to produce seeds– for instance, foxglove or hollyhock. However, blanket flower gets more benefits from deadheading than not.
When and How to Deadhead Blanket Flowers
Blanket flower deadheading isn’t necessary but is a good way to coax more flowers out of each plant, so it’s worth doing. It’s also easy. The timing is just after a bloom reaches its peak and starts to wilt and die.
You can simply pinch off the spent flowers or use garden shears or kitchen scissors. You can leave them on the ground to add nutrients to the soil, put the flowers in your compost pile, or rake them up with yard waste for disposal.