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How to deadhead flowers


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.

How to do it


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.

Our tip

Check your plants daily, so deadheading takes only a few minutes - and you have a lovely excuse to walk the garden!

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

Discuss this project

Talkback: How to deadhead flowers
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boney1234 24/11/2011 at 15:27

brilliant info as i have just taken up gardening seriously.Always done gardening but t the age of 48 i want more than just yearly plants.

courtlands 24/11/2011 at 15:27

I am new to gardening, we have just move from a flat to a house with a beautiful garden. our daffodils have died back should we now group the leaves together & tie them in a knot or cut them back?

pamela52 24/11/2011 at 15:27

hello! I am new to gardening and have started off with basics that give colour to the garden, but the garden is overrun by ivy - in the flower beds, patio - everywhere. How can I get rid of this?
Also, what do I do with pansies when the heads begin to droop? Do I dehead or cut at the bottom of the stalks

katiecornflakes 24/11/2011 at 15:28

hi, I would try and dig out some of your ivy making sure you get as much of the roots as poss. If you've got room plant a hydrangea, they love wet soil and mine is in full bloom at the mo and looks gorgeous. Also petunias are lovely and really easy to look after, when the flower head starts to die off just pick it off and this will prolong the flowers. good luck and Enjoy! I need help pruning my lupins so any advice welcome.....

mikematthews 24/11/2011 at 15:29

how to prune camelias

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