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Deadhead or not

harmonyharmony Posts: 327
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 Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,336
    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: 327
    These are the blue flowers im asking about re deadheading sorry I forgot photos.
  • harmonyharmony Posts: 327
    Thanks Bob for the brilliant advice on clematis. Really useful 😆..
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 27,628
    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.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,336
    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 Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,491
    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. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • SarahKateSarahKate DevonPosts: 35
    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 Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,491
    The goldies seem to love them, and the rudbeckia seeds too 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 11,364
    If you cut them down to the ground, and give them a good feed, they will sometimes flower again.
    He calls her the chocolate girl
    Cause he thinks she melts when he touches her
    She knows she's the chocolate girl
    Cause she's broken up and swallowed
    And wrapped in bits of silver
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