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Deadhead or not

harmonyharmony Posts: 370
Hi, is it better to deadhead the blue flowers or to leave the seedheads. Last year I deadheaded and they didn't reflower and the lower leaves went brown and crispy despite being watered regulary due to hot weather. Also when deadheading do I go to the first leaf (which I did) or cut right back. Thanks
Also is Tomato feed ok for clematis (Perle d'azure)..


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    edited May 2019
    Perle d'azure is a late flowering 'group 3' for pruning clematis.  These should be cut back low (eg 30cm) each February.  By not doing that, you are growing it as a group 2, so will get early flowers and, usually, a later flush, too.  For this year, I would dead-head which will make them produce new shoots from just below the flower and these will go on to bloom later in the year.  Next Feb, I would cut them back hard though, unless you want to continue to grow it as a group 2.  The plant won't mind one bit either way as the group 2 or 3 label is really an artificial distinction made by the grower, who has decided a particular variety grows best when pruned that way.  That's not the case for group 1 pruned clematis though, which need just to be 'directed' by judicious pruning after flowering (I only added this for completion as it doesn't apply to your Perle d'azure.)
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • harmonyharmony Posts: 370
    These are the blue flowers im asking about re deadheading sorry I forgot photos.
  • harmonyharmony Posts: 370
    Thanks Bob for the brilliant advice on clematis. Really useful 😆..
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 29,136
    Those are perennial cornflowers.  I think they look better deadheaded unless you want to collect seed.  Mine went crispy too last year.

    Tomato feed is fine for clematis.
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391
    Yeah, confused with the photo not appearing until after I posted, harmony. :D
    I think I'll copy'n'paste my reply for editing and use in actual clematis threads! :)
    PS: agree with Ob. in every respect.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,847
    I deadhead them for most of the summer but leave the seedheads on ad it gets towards autumn as the goldfinches love them... our border has a flock  of them visit to eat them. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • SarahKateSarahKate Posts: 37
    Did not know that the goldfinches liked the perennial cornflower seeds.   Will leave the dead heads on mine this year.    I grow as many verbena bonariensis as I can as each year I get flocks of goldfinches feasting on their seed.    Love the orange geums 'harmony'
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 83,847
    The goldies seem to love them, and the rudbeckia seeds too 😊 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • punkdocpunkdoc Posts: 13,705
    If you cut them down to the ground, and give them a good feed, they will sometimes flower again.
    How can you lie there and think of England
    When you don't even know who's in the team

    S.Yorkshire/Derbyshire border
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