- For new plants, removing spent blooms will encourage resources to be drawn up out of the roots to produce more flowers, thus taxing the plant. There is little else that's more energy and resource intensive than flowering. If you have a young plant resist the urge to deadhead so the plant can focus on root development instead.
- Leaving spent flowers means you're leaving seeds for autumn and winter wildlife. Feeding the entire ecosystem should always be our goal.
- The seeds that wildlife don't get will turn into free plants for you. More plants means more flowers and more coverage on the ground so weeds can't get a foothold. We design gardens with self sowing in mind -- thinning seedlings is easier, and cheaper, than buying new plants and allows the garden to teach us what it wants naturally. Use plants natural tendency to spread and you can also eliminate the need for wood mulch.
- Have you ever seen snow piled atop a coneflower or rattlesnake master? Winter interest isn't just about tree structure or bark color or evergreens. So many of our perennial native plants offer outstanding contrast and architecture in winter -- which is one reason of many not to cut down the garden until late winter or early spring.
Stop deadheading and let nature take the lead -- it might be wonderfully surprising and rewarding for all of us who enjoy the garden.