Deadheading flowers is an important part of having a flowering garden. Deadheading is removing the old flower blossoms from a plant. This keeps your garden looking tidy and fresh plus plants bloom better if the old flower heads have been removed. When the blossom remains on the plant seeds begin to develop and the plant uses extra energy to develop those seeds thus taking the energy away from future blossoms.
photo credit: Uberto
Annual plants benefit the most from deadheading; they will often produce nearly double the flowers that they would have produced without removing the old flowers.
Perennials also can benefit but not at the same success rate. Some perennials have a longer blooming seasons and if deadheaded will have a second set of blooms.
How to deadhead flowers
- Deadhead roses if they only a few flowers on a cluster and the flower have faded. Deadhead by pinching or trimming the rose blossom off. If the whole cluster is fading, cut it off at the first leaflet with five leaves.
- To deadhead Perennials with tall stalks cut the stalk as near to the base as possible. In some cases the stalk will dry up enough that you can gently tug it off.
- For Perennials and Annuals with one partly faded flower clusters pinch or cut the faded flower off. If the entire cluster is faded, remove the whole stem.
- If you have bushy Perennials and Annuals with many small flowers give the plant a haircut by shearing back to about one-third and removing all of the blooms. You would do this when 2/3’s to ¾’s of the plants has faded blossoms. A good example of such a plant is the Mum.
- Deadheading can make a plant look unattractive at first but the plants will fill out again in a week or two. I myself try to dead head a little every time I go by a plant so it good fresh all the time and doesn’t get the bare look.
One tip that will help your plant to look better is to deadheading individual flowers by reaching into the plant as much as possible. This will minimize unattractive stubs.
When I first raised flowers I didn’t deadhead the plants but it makes a big difference in the appearance of the plants and the flowers that is has. Flowers add such color and life to a yard so keeping them healthy and free from faded flowers just adds to the beauty of your yard.