Do Dead Or Dying Flowers Cause Disease And Should They Be Removed

Question From: C. Broderick - Grosse Pointe, Michigan, United States
Q: Your website is great. Question: I know that taking dead flowers/buds is good for helping promote more growth but I was told recently that dead or dying flowers cause disease. Really?

A: That's not true. If it were we wouldn't have any plants. Flowers are the plants way of producing seed. That said, some dead flowers will be attacked by bacteria or a fungus. but that's often natures way of composting. Removing them makes the garden look tidy. I remove spent mums in fall but leave the stems intact - they protect the plant over the winter. Roses turn into rose hips that remain intact all winter. Old fashioned cone flowers make seeds beloved by birds. However, the new pompom varieties are sterile and do turn yucky over time. They are best removed. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy