The Q&A Archives: flowers going to seed

Question: in one of your gardening articles you talk about not letting your flowers go to seed, could you tell me why and what exactly that means. also, i have many day lillies and some of them look like they have round balls on them but they never open do you know what that is and what it means.

Answer: Plants reproduce by seed. Most flowers contain an ovary where seeds form. The process starts in earnest once the petals fade. By clipping off the faded flowers you will prevent the plant from producing seed. This saves the plant's energy so it can either rebloom or build its strength for next year. It also prevents the plant seeding itself about in the garden. The little balls on your daylilies are seed pods. They should be removed to conserve the plant's energy. Daylilies need frequent deadheading because each bloom lasts only a day. When you deadhead, make sure to remove the bulge at the base of each flower (ovary) and not just the petals. With daylilies, once all the buds have opened and the flowers are done you can trim off the tall wiry stem or scape as well. I hope this answers your question.

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