Answer: I think the single most important type of pruning we can do is to deadhead spent flowers. This often extends the bloom period of the plant by encouraging growth of additional flower buds. How far below the spent flower you prune depends upon the growth habit of the plant. Look on the stem below the spent flower and see if there are any new flower buds forming. If there are, prune to just above the first flower bud below the dead flower. This works well for Rudbeckia (Black-eyed Susan), Lucanthemum (Shasta Daisy), Echinacea (Purple Coneflower) and Monarda (Bee Balm). When you see no more flower buds on a stem on these plants, cut the stem to the ground. This will promote lush new growth at the base of the plant. Although you will probably have no additional flowers for the season, you will have attractive foliage.
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