How To Deadhead Flowers
What is Deadheading?
Most flowering plants benefit from deadheading (removing fading or dead flowers).
Deadheading encourages plants to produce new flowers, directs energy into stronger growth and prevents petals from dropping everywhere.
You should deadhead whether plants are in beds, borders, pots or hanging baskets. You can deadhead whenever needed between spring and autumn, removing flowers as soon as they start to look less beautiful.
How often to deadhead
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. If no new flower is visible, prune the stem back to the first visible knuckle.
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.
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