How to deadhead roses

Learn how and why to deadhead roses in our step-by-step guide, including a How-to video from Alan Titchmarsh.

Deadheading roses involves removing faded flowers to divert the plant’s energy from producing hips, to making more flowers. Deadheading roses will keep them looking their best throughout the season. Faded flowers can make a plant look tatty and, after rain, they can turn into a soggy, slimy mess. This can encourage fungal infections that may lead to stem dieback.

For many roses, deadheading is essential to keep them blooming and stop them looking untidy. In the video clip, above, Alan Titchmarsh deadheads roses, explaining effective deadheading techniques.

For more on deadheading different types of roses, see our step-by-step advice, below.

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You Will Need

  • Secateurs
  • Gloves

Step 1

For multi-flowered roses, take off each flower from the cluster as its petals begin to fall, snipping with secateurs or pinching it out. This will keep the plant looking good while the rest of the buds open. Once all the flowers in a cluster have finished, remove the whole stem.

Deadheading roses - removing the flower cluster
Deadheading roses – removing the flower cluster

Step 2

When deadheading roses with single-flowers, snip off the flowerhead and around 15cm of stem, cutting just above a strong, healthy leaf. Your next flower shoot will grow from that leaf joint.

Deadheading roses - removing a single spent flower
Deadheading roses – removing a single spent flower

Step 3

Rambling roses, which usually flower once during the season, can be pruned straight after flowering. Here’s how to prune a rambling rose.

Deadheading roses - rambling rose
Deadheading roses – rambling rose
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