Old wives tales…?


Read any gardening journal or gardening ‘what to do now’ list, and the likelihood is you will be prompted to dead head daffodils once flowering is finished. Dead heading ensures the plant does not waste energy on seed production and instead, puts its energy back into the bulb for better flowering next year.

But who deadheads daffodils in the wild? Do the pixies pop out in the still and quiet of the night to complete this task? Do the flower fairies flit around with scissors in hand? I think not! But still natural daffodils flower and flower and flower each year.

So is this an old wives tale?

Let me know what you think…

Author: Mike the Gardener

Freelance gardening writer, consultant and designer. Mike Palmer is a passionate and professional plantsman, offering services in garden writing, consultancy and garden design. Mike is also available for garden and plant related talks and presentations. Mike has been a professional horticulturalist for over fifteen years.

2 thoughts on “Old wives tales…?”

  1. I always say that too because we don’t give nature enough credit, however, deadheading does put the energy back into the rest of the plant. A plant will still bloom but the blossoms may be smaller and not as spectacular. If you’re a deadheader most likely your plants will do a little better and have nicer bigger blooms. On a daffodil I think it’s more important to not cut the leaves back because that’s where most of the nutrition come from to feed the bulb. If they’re in a pot I would dead head but I can’t see getting out in a big garden and doing it.


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