The five types of plants you should deadhead now to maintain a healthy garden

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Deadheading is a term used to describe the removal of flowers from plants when they are spent. The practice of deadheading helps keep your plants attractive and can help with prolonged flowering. Deadheading helps a plant produce more flowers as it boosts its drive to produce more seeds.

There are multiple methods for deadheading flowers, and different types of plants have different needs.

The simplest method is to pinch the faded bloom with a finger and thumb.

When doing this, to make the remaining plant look tidy, it’s common practice to remove the flower with its stalk.

You can also get rid of old blooms by using secateurs or sharp scissors.

This is particularly helpful when deadheading plants with tough or stringy stems.

Which flowers should I be deadheading right now?


Gently snap off the faded flowers of roses, breaking the stalk just below the head.

Do this instead of cutting just above a leaf, as the snapping method results in more blooms being produced more quickly on repeat-flowering cultivars.


Rhododendrons, camellias, lilacs, and tree peonies all need to be deadheaded at this time of year.

Using either sharp scissors, secateurs or your fingers, snap off each expired head where it joins the stem.

Be careful with shrubs as they will have new growths just below the dead flower and these are easy to damage.

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Bedding plants

Plants growing in containers and hanging plants respond well to deadheading.

Look out for the faded blooms of cherry pie, pansies, argyranthemums, polyanthus and petunias, all of which can be snapped off with a finger and thumb.


Hold the faded flower stalk at its base and pull downward.

The old bloom should snap out easily and cleanly.


Remove flowers from larger bulbs such as daffodils, along with the seed capsule.

However, leave the green flower stalk in place as this photosynthesises, which helps to build up the bulb to flower well next season.

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