eklawun
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Location: Bartlesville, OK, Zone 6a

Do I deadhead my Summersweet?

We have just put in a patio and some planting areas to encircle it. Among other things available this time of year at the nursery here I found Summersweet bushes. I ended up (accidentally) with two larger bushes and one (that I meant to get) smaller one. The smaller one is/was in bloom and I now wonder whether I need to cut the spent blooms to make it bloom some more? Or does it just bloom once? The two larger varieties have bloom stalks that don't appear to have opened yet... I wonder what they are waiting for?

Hope someone can advise!
Thanks!
Beth K

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Deadheading woody plants does not turn out well most of the time, but it really depends on when its done whether it is successful. Butterfly bush is one that can be deadheaded but you can try the clethra but just in spots then you'll know for next year

eklawun
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:24 pm
Location: Bartlesville, OK, Zone 6a

Deadheading

Thanks for your response! I guess I can try deadheading one of the bushes and see whether it does better or worse than the others. New blooms do seem to be coming in spite of the old ones hanging on. The old ones are just looking kind of scraggly, so I think I will snip them off.
Beth K

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rainbowgardener
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Your clethera sets its buds in the spring (some shrubs like forsythia set buds the fall before). Once those buds have bloomed, it will not have any more until next year, whether or not you deadhead.

There can be other reasons for deadheading, including cosmetic. I deadhead my lilac when the flowers are spent, because if it set seeds, it tends not to bloom as much the following year.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

eklawun
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Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:24 pm
Location: Bartlesville, OK, Zone 6a

Hmmmm, sets buds in the spring.... Do you experienced gardeners keep a notebook - or a spreadsheet or something about how each plant behaves, so that you know what to do to it and when? Like if I got all enthusiastic about reshaping the bush next spring, I would actually be cutting off most of its blooms probably...right?
Beth K

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rainbowgardener
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Twenty years gardening experience-- it is all in my head. But for you starting out all the info is available on-line, just look up your clethera.

But yes, next spring is exactly the wrong time to prune it, you would be cutting off the flower buds and there would be no more that year. Do your pruning this fall. For the earlier blooming shrubs like forsythia, prune right after they bloom, pruning in fall would cut off next year's buds.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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