Society garlic grow purple flower clusters on the end of long flower stems during spring and summer. Deadhead society garlic after the flowers have dried using sharp secateurs and trimming of the flower stem close to the base of the plant. Society garlic grow from bulbs so deadheading the plant close to the base will not damage it in any way.
This article will explore all you need to know about deadheading and cleaning up your society garlic after flowering. This is an important step you need to take to take care of your society garlic for more flowers.
What does it mean to deadhead society garlic?
Deadheading society garlic means to trim off the old, dead flowers after they have finished. Society garlic will grow clusters of 6-8 small purple flowers on the end of a long stem. These flowers last for around 2 weeks before they will die off.
Trimming the flowers off near the base of the plant will help the plant to focus more energy on growing more bulbs and stems. While you can allow the plant to set seed it is much easier and more reliable to grow more society garlic by lifting and separating the bulbs.
Society garlic will multiply from a single bulb to 4-5 bulbs in 6 months if they are cared for well. Simply lift the clump of society garlic from the soil and pull the bulbs apart. This is the best way to get more plants for free.
Why you should deadhead society garlic
Deadheading society garlic will help the plant to focus energy into growing more leaves, roots and bulbs rather than setting seed. When old flowers are left on the plant, the energy of the plant will be focused on growing seeds rather than leaves or more flowers.
When old society garlic flowers are not removed the plant will not grow as many new flowers to replace the old. For a bright green or variegated plant with lots of flowers, deadheading is the key.
How to deadhead society garlic
There are a few tips that I have found that make it easy to deadhead society garlic without damaging the plant or your fingers. Here are my top tips to deadheading society garlic at home.
Use sharp secateurs
The first step is to find some sharp secateurs. This is important to make a clean cut to remove the flower stem. A clean cut will help to prevent diseases entering the plant.
Clean your secateurs before cutting the plant with warm soapy water, dilute eucalyptus or tea tree oil. Allow the secateurs to dry or wipe them with a rag or paper towel.
Wearing garden gloves is a good way to protect your hands when you are pruning. Take care to cut the stem and not the leaves or anything else when you are deadheading the plant.
Move the plant leaves out of the way when you go to prune the flower head off. This will help to avoid trimming off any healthy leaves when you snip the flower stem.
You will definitely smell the society garlic as you touch and move the leaves around. Wearing gloves will help to keep the garlic smell off your hands. It does smell nice however and will disappear after a few hours outside.
Trim near the base
When deadheading the flowers make sure you trim the stem near the base of the plant. This will remove the whole stem and flower head. This will keep your plant looking neat and avoid any dry stems poking up through the center of the plant.
Once a flower head is removed the stem will dry off and turn brown. It is best to remove the whole stem to allow the room for the plant to grow new flowers.
Compost the flower and stem
The society garlic stem and flower can be placed in your compost. It will break down quickly and work its way in with the other organic matter in your bin. Flowers are quick to decompose and the whole stem can be mixed into the compost to cover any garlic smell.
I quite like the smell of society garlic but it can be quite strong when you are deadheading a lot of plants.
Check out my previous article here for more on composting flowers: How to put flowers in a compost bin | 3 Steps
When to deadhead society garlic
Deadhead society garlic during spring and summer after the flower heads have dried and folded in on themselves. This is the sign that the flower is finished and the stem can be removed. If you continue to remove old flower head throughout the season you will get flowers all through spring and summer.
Benefits of deadheading society garlic
The benefit of deadheading society garlic regularly is that you will have neat plants without brown dead stems. This will also help to grow larger plants with more leaves and healthy roots.
The energy of the plant will be focused on growing new flowers that will look great all summer and the plant will make a neat border or great feature plant in your flower bed.
Will society garlic grow more flowers after deadheading?
Society garlic will continue to grow new flower heads throughout spring and summer. Deadheading the plant will encourage the plant to keep growing flowers to replace the old ones giving you bright purple blooms throughout the warm weather.
In winter the flowers will have finished and the plant will continue to grow new bulbs and multiply. By the next spring it will be ready to grow lots of new flower stems and will be a fantastic feature in your garden.
How do you deadhead society garlic? | Summary
Deadhead society garlic by removing the flower stems after the flowers have died off. Use sharp, clean secateurs to trim the stem down near the base of the plant. The flower stem can be composted after they have been removed and will break down quickly.
Society garlic is one of my favorite plants in my garden. I have planted these in every garden I have owned and they have always grown well. These are the best plants if you want to save money as they will reproduce quickly and give you new plants for free.
For more on growing society garlic, check out my previous article here: Society Garlic: 9 Ways to grow it successfully
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.