TOW N.H.Do in May - Garden
Tue, 04 May 2004 01:28:39 PDT
Diane Whitehead wrote:

> Snap off the dead flowers of any bulbs you don't want to set seed.

I've never understood the urge to deadhead bulbs except where obvious
tidiness is required (in formal garden settings) or where seeding is a
positive menace (e.g. some Allium, some Muscari, some Scilla/Hyacinthoides).
The majority of commercial bulbs are really or effectively sterile in the
garden, so removing spent flowers is merely a quest for tidiness: I have
more useful things to do.

If seed is set I can see no earthly reason for not allowing it to mature.
Even if there is no friend or society to donate it to, then a scattering in
the garden may just produce results worth having. Even more tangibly, the
presence on the stem of a fruit is an incentive, controlled by hormones, for
the plant to remain in growth and therefore build up a much bigger bulb for
next year. The 'drain' of photosynthates to the seeds is more than matched
by their accumulation in the bulb and the resultant performance next season.

John Grimshaw

Dr John M. Grimshaw
Garden Manager, Colesbourne Gardens

Gardens Cottage
Nr Cheltenham
Gloucestershire GL53 9NP



More information about the pbs mailing list