Wallflowers provide a beautiful floral display in your garden right from early spring. Depending on the particular flower you have planted, you may retain this display through to the early winter. But one question that plagues gardeners all over the world is what to do with wallflowers when they finish flowering. When the wallflower finishes flowering, you should lightly trim it back and deadhead the plant. Doing these things will encourage further growth during the next season and will discourage the plant from going to seed. However, this is just one aspect of wallflower care and there are many more things that you will need to know if you want to see continued blooms over the course of your wallflower’s life.
What Are Wallflowers?
Going by their scientific name, Erysimum, wallflowers are beautiful purple/ blue flowers that come out in the early spring and thrive all through summer. While their common name may lead you to believe that this is a climbing plant, the wallflower is, in fact, a bedding plant. These flowers are not only visually appealing, but they also have a delightful fragrance which is one of the reasons that they are so popular in gardens around the world.
There are two main types of wallflowers:
- Biennial wallflowers which are grown from a seed one year and will bloom the following year.
- Perennial wallflowers are grown from a cutting and will continue to bloom for many years.
What Should I Do With Wallflowers After Blooming?
Caring for plants doesn’t just mean looking after them until they come into bloom; the care goes beyond this point. Once your wallflowers have finished flowering, you could leave the seed pods where they are to go to seed, meaning that you will end up with more plants the following spring. Some people don’t mind this, but if you do, then deadheading the plant is the only way to fully avoid this. This should always be done towards the end of the season in the late autumn or early winter.
However, halfway through, at the height of summer, it can be useful to cut the wallflower back to encourage a new lot of blooms to come through.
Will My Wallflowers Grow Again Next Year?
The type of wallflower that you have planted will determine whether it will rebloom the following year. If you have chosen a biennial wallflower, these have a two-year life cycle. Once they have flowered one year, they will then die the following. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will die forever. If these wallflowers are allowed to go to seed, you may end up with another floral display down the line. However, perennial wallflowers will continue to flower year after year. If you are looking to establish a mature garden that is filled with annual colour, then this is likely the best option. That being said, it is imperative that you care for your wallflowers correctly if you want to see them thrive year after year.
Should I Deadhead My Wallflowers?
Yes, you should deadhead your wallflowers. Deadheading, or the removal of spent flowers, encourages wallflowers to produce more blooms and prevents the plant from putting energy into seed production. Regularly removing the faded flowers can prolong the blooming period and keep the plant looking tidy. Additionally, deadheading prevents self-seeding, which might be desirable if you want to control where the wallflowers grow in your garden. To deadhead wallflowers, simply pinch or snip off the faded blooms just below the flower head.
Wallflower Growing Tips
Even for the most avid gardener, tackling a new plant comes with its own set of trials. Each plant is different and requires a different level of care. With this in mind, we have put together a handy guide to sowing, growing and caring for the wallflower.
When it comes to sowing your wallflowers, the seeds can be sown directly into the bedding area where the plant will remain for its entire life. However, you will likely get the best results by sowing them indoors in small containers and transferring them later. It is important to keep in mind that these plants are best sown in the late spring around May but can continue to be sown up to July. If you are sowing the seeds directly into the ground, you will need to place them at 30cm intervals and make sure that they are in a full sun position. The seeds need only be placed around half an inch into the soil and should be kept well watered. Once they begin to grow, you can move them to their final position or leave them where they are.
For those who are going to sow the seeds indoors, you should make sure that the seeds are kept at a temperature between 13c and 15c in a seed container. Once their seedlings are big enough, you can transfer them into pots before finally moving them outside to their final position.
Caring For Wallflowers
When you plant your wallflowers, it is important to make sure that they are in a sunny location. The best spots for a wallflower would be in a border or flower bed, although they can be kept in pots if you prefer. But regardless of where they are located, these plants also need to be well-hydrated so regular watering is a must. Doing this will help to keep the flowering times to a maximum, giving you the longest display. When it comes to the end of the season, and the wallflowers have finished flowering, you will need to apply the appropriate care. As we have already discovered, the best way to promote healthy reblooming is to deadhead the flowers and trim the plant back. It is important to pair this with regular liquid feeds to get the best results. When you trim the plant back, you should aim to reduce it to half of its current height. This may seem counteractive, but it is important to keep in mind that the wallflower can reach an astonishing height of 75cm and can spread as wide as 90cm.
If you are looking to save space in your garden then you will likely want to keep your wallflowers as compact as possible, while maintaining their health.
The wallflower is a beautiful purple flower that blooms in spring and continues flowering right through to late autumn and early winter. However, once the flowering period is over, many home gardeners wonder what they should do with the plant. If you have a perennial wallflower, you can expect it to flower again next year. Also, since these are self-seeding plants, you could end up with new wallflowers the following year. To avoid overgrowth, it is best to deadhead the plant after flowering. Furthermore, you should cut the plant back to half its current size. Doing this will encourage future flower growth and if you trim the plant in the summer, you’ll get a much better second bloom running up to autumn.
Garden Doctor Tips
“Ensure that you plant your wallflowers in a nice and sunny spot!”
“Ensure that you keep your wallflowers well watered in the summer, they are big drinkers!”
“Sow your wallflowers in pots indoors and transplant them out in May!”
“Wallflowers will grow quite a bit of foliage so plant them at least 30cm from each other!”
Frequently Asked Questions
Should Wallflowers be cut back after flowering?
If you do not wish your wallflowers to seed, you can cut them back once they have finished flowering.
How do you prune Wallflowers after they bloom?
Be careful not to go into any old wood, wallflowers can be cut back by half. Trim around the clump with some garden shears.
Do Wallflowers self-seed?
Yes, wallflowers will self-seed. Wallflowers reproduce and grow quite easily without help but for best results, they could do with good pruning after flowering.
Trevor Wright is not just a seasoned horticulturist; he’s the esteemed Garden Doctor. With a BSc in Horticulture and years of hands-on experience in the soil, Trevor has become a trusted mentor for all things gardening. As the founder of Garden Doctor, he’s committed to clarifying the intricacies of gardening, offering straightforward advice that’s rooted in years of practice. His writing is a garden of how-tos, savvy insights, and comprehensive guides that enable individuals to nurture and grow their garden dreams. When he’s not knee-deep in garden beds, Trevor is at his keyboard passing on his green-thumbed wisdom to budding gardeners, ensuring that the legacy of sustainable and joyful gardening blossoms far and wide.