I live in Ohio and my purple coneflowers have died. Do I take the flower off the top or cut the flower down to the ground?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
It is up to you. Both are fine. Some people actually like to leave the plants and flower heads intact for the winter, as the birds like to eat the seeds. It can provide some winter interest in the garden and then the plants can be cut back in the spring.
The purpose of removing the flower, or "deadheading," is to prolong and encourage flowering by cutting off the blossom so the plant spends energy on producing more flowers rather than developing seeds.
If you leave the flower on the plant, it has a chance to produce seed, thus self seeding next year's plants. After the seeds have dispersed, you can cut the plant down to the ground. This article has more information: https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/coneflower/growing-purple-coneflowers.htm