How To Deadhead Flowers

What is Deadheading?

Deadheading is the process of removing fading or dead flowers from plants. This in turn benefits flowering plants as it encourages them to produce new flowers. It also directs energy into stronger growth and prevents petals from dropping everywhere keeping them looking attractive, whether in beds and borders, containers or hanging baskets.

How to Deadhead Plants

You can deadhead whenever needed between spring and autumn, removing flowers as soon as they start to look less beautiful.

How often to deadhead flowers?

If you can get into a weekly routine of deadheading the waves of blooms can be extended by weeks or months.

Where to cut?

Prune back to a new flower or bud using a Pruner. If no new flower is visible, prune the stem back to the first visible knuckle. 

This ingenious Bypass Cutter is ideal for thorny stemmed or skin irritant plants, from roses and brambles to rue/ruta. When the pruner is squeezed close the grip locks onto the stem, holding it firmly in place until release, without having to ever touch the stem.

Pruner  - Gardening Tools

Some hardy geraniums, delphiniums and lupins produce a second flush of flowers if cut back close to ground level.

This is known as the Chelsea Chop, as it is carried out at the end of May, at the time of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

What happens if you don't deadhead your plants?

Gardening Angel Paul’s oregano and marjoram plant is just starting to go into flower. In order to prolong the season Paul is planning on deadheading these plants. However, if he leaves the plant to go into flower naturally, some plants, such as these two herbs become a fantastic haven for bees!

                     deadheading oregano deadheading marjoram

How to deadhead roses

Softly break off the faded flowers, snapping the stalk just under the head.

how to deadhead roses

How to deadhead Lupins

Deadhead lupins as soon as the flowers fade, this way you will generate a second wave of flowers. During autumn, cut them back to the ground after gathering seed.

how to deadhead lupins

How to deadhead Petunias

Cut off the blooms once petunias turn brown and clip the stems directly above the next layer of leaves.

how to deadhead petunias

How to deadhead Hydrangeas

Grip the faded flower stalk close to the base and pull downwards. The old bloom will snap out neatly. 

how to deadhead hydrangeas

How to deadhead Dahlias

Clip Dahlia flowers once they start to wilt and any blooms that start to generate seed pods. Hold the stem beneath the head of the flower and squeeze off the stem, getting rid of the entire head.

how to deadhead dahlias

How to deadhead Daffodils

Take care that only the flower head of the Daffodil is snapped off, this can be done by merely squeezing out between finger and thumb or a quick cut with secateurs. Ensure the foliage is kept intact as similar to all other bulbs, they need to allow their foliage to die back normally so that its energy can be reinvested into the bulb to help generate even better blooms the following year.

how to deadhead daffodils

Which flowers not to deadhead

    • Plants that produce seed loved by birds, including cornflower and sunflower.
    • Rose cultivars that bear rosehips
    • Plants that bear autumn berries
    • Plants that have ornamental seeds or fruits; including alliums; love-in-a-mist (Nigella), stinking iris and bladder cherry

Deadheading essentials you might like

Hopefully you’re now feeling more confident to deadhead your flowers if it’s something you haven’t looked into much before. Don’t forget that Greenhouse Sensation has all of the gardening supplies that you’re likely to need as well, with speedy delivery times to get you started as soon as possible.