Leave Seedheads Standing

Activity
Frosted seedhead with spiders' webs
1-2 hours
Autumn Winter
Easy

Relish the fading glory as your flowers give way to drifts of seedheads. Resisting the urge to pick up the secateurs and clear up at the end of summer will allow nature to have its encore. Under the crispy frosting of winter mornings, seedheads can be an absolute joy. Seedheads are great for birds and other wildlife at a time of year when pickings are thin. Birds will eke out the seeds, while standing stems can hold a myriad of insects, larvae and eggs. As an added bonus, stems also shield your garden soil from winter elements too. You can still tidy flopped stems or those toppled over paths. A tidy garden can still be a wildlife-friendly garden.

Frosted seedhead with spiders' webs

Step-by-step guide

1

Here are our pick of the best wildlife-friendly plants to grow for their winter seedheads.

Teasel
Echinacea
Phlomis
Opium poppies
Sedum
Eryngiums
Alliums
Heleniums
Ornamental grasses
Rudbeckias
Echinops
Agastache Hyssop

2

Once they have flowered, leave them into the winter. Prop up any that topple over.

3

Trim and compost your seedheads and stems in Spring to allow the new season’s growth to burst through.

What you will need

  • A few sticks and twine to prop up any toppled stems
  • A magnifying glass (to marvel at your seedheads and stems)