How to deadhead flowers

Do it:

Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug

Takes just:

15 minutes

It's worth deadheading your flowering plants to get the most from them and removing any flowers that are past their best. Take them off as soon as they begin to droop as this will help to conserve the plant's energy by preventing them from setting seed. Bedding plants benefit most from daily deadheading as it will extend the life of the plants and encourage them to continue producing more flowers through the summer.

You will need

  • Scissors, floral snips or secateurs


The dying flowers of summer bedding plants can be simply pinched off between finger and thumb. Alternatively, use scissors or florists' snips.

Cluster-flowered roses should be deadheaded regularly so that the plant's energy is channelled into the other flower buds. Cut each flower off as the petals begin to fall.

Cut off only the flowers of hydrangeas in spring, so the flowerheads protect the emerging flower buds from frost over winter.

The tall flower spikes of some perennials, such as this lupin, are best cut back before the last few flowers are finished, as seed pods are already forming at the base. Prune out the stalk to just above the leaves.

Plants which produce masses of flowers, like this lavender, can be given a 'haircut' with secateurs or scissors as soon as the flowers lose their colour. This will encourage bushy side growth and keep plants compact.


Pop all the dead flower-heads on the compost heap rather than throwing them in the bin.

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