Self-seeding is the process of plants shedding fertile seed which then grows into new plants. Basically, this a natural method of reproduction for plants.

This is often encouraged in plants growing in meadows and in cottage style gardens, where seedheads are left on the plant to allow a more natural arrangement of plants to occur. In more formal gardens, self-seeding plants can become a problem as they are considered weeds.

Many plants which self-seed freely are considered weeds, such as shepherd’s purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris), which has more than one life cycle each year, meaning that it produces many seeds. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) self-seeds over a wide area by its feathery seeds being carried on the breeze.

Frequent deadheading and the removal of any fruits or seedheads at the end of the season (being careful that they don’t open while being removed) can reduce the amount of self-seeding.