Dried Seed Heads Will Feed the Birds During the Winter: True, the birds will eat them but...

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Dried Seed Heads Will Feed the Birds During the Winter

By wildflowers
September 9, 2011

Leave the flower heads of Black-eyed Susan, (Rudbeckia) over winter. Although not particularly attractive all dried out, the seed heads will feed the birds.

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Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Sep 8, 2011 6:27 PM CST
Each seed head contains dozen and dozens, maybe hundreds of seeds. If left on the plants all winter, you might see incredible reseeding. A few volunteers are nice, but hundreds are not so nice. Been there, done that.

Karen
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
Sep 8, 2011 6:45 PM CST
I have left mine over winter for about 8 years now and have not had a problem with them over seeding or becoming a problem. It might have to do with area of the country and weather conditions?
Name: Mary
My little patch of paradise (Zone 7b)
Gardening dilettante, that's me!
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fiwit
Sep 8, 2011 8:46 PM CST
Last year was my first year doing that, and I wasn't over-run here in GA. I did, however, get a visit from the city code compliance guy, because I have a neighbor who doesn't appreciate my wildlife-friendly yard. My answer to that was to cut them down and then leave them on the ground near where they had lived. That way the critters still got the benefit of the seedheads.
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I'm going to retire and live off of my savings. Not sure what I'll do that second week.
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Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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plantladylin
Sep 8, 2011 8:53 PM CST
I love that tip! I haven't grown Rudbeckia in awhile (and miss it!) but I do leave the Echinacea flower heads on sometimes ... some years I am just too lazy to collect the seeds. Smiling The birds do enjoy many of the seeds but I still have lots Echinacea popping up in the beds each spring. I'd love to see incredible reseeding ... an entire yard of NO GRASS, only flowers! Thumbs up
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
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valleylynn
Sep 8, 2011 8:54 PM CST
Thumbs up
Name: Susie
Phoenix AZ (Zone 9a)
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Aguane
Sep 8, 2011 10:48 PM CST
I let all of my wildflowers go to seed. I was surprised to see more black eyed susan's come up this year than 3 years past. I love to watch the Verdin hang on the plants and eat the seeds and bugs.

Some wildflowers wane a bit in the reseeding process. I noticed last year my bachelor buttons came up in pale blues to white and pink. Don't know what's up with that?
Thumb of 2011-09-09/Aguane/5c62a6
“Don't give up too quickly"... unknown, I heard it somewhere.
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[Last edited by Aguane - Sep 8, 2011 5:49 PM (+)]
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Name: Vicki
North Carolina
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vic
Sep 9, 2011 3:31 AM CST
GREAT tip!
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Sep 9, 2011 3:48 AM CST
When reseeding runs amuck.


They swallowed a purple coneflower
Thumb of 2011-09-09/kqcrna/11d6de

These petunias were all volunteers
Thumb of 2011-09-09/kqcrna/5cb315

And larkspur?
Thumb of 2011-09-09/kqcrna/324dfe

Larkspur volunteers carpeting the beds the following winter
Thumb of 2011-09-09/kqcrna/4d5c85

Now, I'm a somewhat fanatical deadheader.

Karen
Name: Dahlianut
Calgary, AB Zone 3a
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dahlianut
Sep 9, 2011 7:13 AM CST
WOWSER I wish I had that kind of self sowing Smiling What a luvly tip to remind us about the birds wildflowers Thumbs up This is particularly important in snowfall areas as oft the shorter plants get buried so the birds have to rely on the taller ones.
Name: Horseshoe Griffin
Efland, NC (Zone 7a)
And in the end...a happy beginning!
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Horseshoe
Sep 9, 2011 7:21 AM CST
Good tip, I love leaving plenty for the birds and other wildlife. (Uhh, even to the point of leaving some pokeweed to grow for them! )

Shoe
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
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plantladylin
Sep 9, 2011 8:09 AM CST
Pretty picture Susie!

And, Karen ... Wow, absolutely Beautiful gardens! I agree with Dahlianut in wishing I had that kind of self sowing!! Forget about flower "beds", I want an entire lawn of flowers!!

Shoe: LOL regarding the Pokeweed. I just yanked some of it out of a couple of flower beds last week ... but I'm sure more will be popping up eventually.
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cut Flowers Winter Sowing Charter ATP Member Seed Starter
Echinacea Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Ohio Region: United States of America Butterflies Hummingbirder
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kqcrna
Sep 9, 2011 9:26 AM CST
Trust me, you don't want to maintain that sort of bed. A nightmare.

Karen
Name: Lin
Florida (Zone 9b)
Region: United States of America Morning Glories Region: Florida Houseplants Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
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plantladylin
Sep 9, 2011 10:07 AM CST
LOL, that's what I mean, I don't want beds, barricades, edgings, fences ... just a long, never ending expanse of blooms! Big Grin
~ Eat, Sleep .... Play in the dirt ~
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
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wildflowers
Sep 12, 2011 8:07 AM CST
Hi all, so nice to see my tip made it LOL. Sorry for not responding sooner but computer modem has been a problem!

I realize not everyone has the room in the garden to let one plant take over--- but just love the idea that people will leave food for the wildlife!

The rudbeckia has never been agressive or taken up much space here either, so I sure wish it would multiply a little more! teehee

Lynn, I think like you! Big Grin and Shoe!! I don't remember ever getting rid of a poke plant, the birds love the berries (well, unless I was harvesting the leaves in early spring for a little poke salad).
Rolling my eyes.
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

[Last edited by wildflowers - Sep 12, 2011 5:25 AM (+)]
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