run to seed

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run to seed

To look shabby, unhealthy, or unattractive due to a lack of care or attention. Wow, Tim's really started running to seed ever since he had kids. The house has run to seed with those college kids living there.
See also: run, seed, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

run to seed

Also, go to seed. Become devitalized or worn out; deteriorate, as in I went back to visit my old elementary school, and sadly, it has really run to seed, or The gold medalist quickly went to seed after he left competition. This term alludes to plants that, when allowed to set seed after flowering, either taste bitter, as in the case of lettuce, or do not send out new buds, as is true of annual flowers. Its figurative use dates from the first half of the 1800s.
See also: run, seed, to
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

go/run to ˈseed

(informal) (of a person) become untidy or dirty because you no longer care about your appearance, etc: I was very surprised when I saw her. She has really run to seed in the last few months.This idiom refers to the fact that when the flower in a plant dies, seeds are produced.
See also: go, run, seed, to
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

run to seed, to

To become old and decrepit. Plants that are allowed to set seed after flowering either become bitter to the taste (lettuce) or will not bloom as well the following year (daffodils, tulips). Henry Fielding used the term figuratively in an essay of 1740: “For Virtue itself by growing too exuberant and . . . by running to seed changes its very nature.”
See also: run, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Mulch with well-rotted manure or compost to retain moisture and ensure that they are kept well watered, or they will run to seed.
When it does eventually run to seed, the flowering shoots are also edible.
HANGING BASKETS: Try to salvage the healthy plants: HARVEST YOUR VEGETABLES: Don't let them run to seed: WEEDING: Now's the time to tidy up your borders
Make another sowing of spring cabbage as these plants are far less likely to run to seed than sowings made last month.
Parsley will come up again in the second year but it won't do as well and tends to run to seed early.
Water the plants regularly and give them a liquid feed every few weeks, removing yellowing leaves and replacing the plants when they run to seed.
Don't let them run to seed or the plant takes that as an indicator that flowering is over and will stop producing more blooms.
I use Mr Fothergill's coriander Cilantro, which was specially bred for its large leaves and slowness to bolt (run to seed).
LETTUCES are among the easiest salad crops to grow, but if you let them bolt (run to seed) they will often taste bitter.
The loose leaf varieties such as Red Salad Bowl, Lollo Ross and Bijou are tolerant of hot weather and seem to do better at this time of year than the cabbage head types which can annoyingly run to seed.
They also quickly run to seed, known as bolting, if plants get too dry or overcrowded.
What is the problem if the grass is a foot high as long as our wild flowers are allowed to mature and run to seed to multiply next spring?
Cultivars to search out include Tarzan, ideal for early and late sowings, French Breakfast, with its long root, Scarlet Globe and Cherry Belle with their round roots, Viola, with its purple skin and pure white flesh, Zlata with its yellow skin and Munchen Bier, with its large roots and, if it is allowed to run to seed, a harvest of edible spicy seed pods.
And if you can let some plants run to seed it will attract aphid-munching hoverflies.
Unless regularly dead-headed and watered, annuals will run to seed even more quickly than they naturally do.