Bright-pink peony 'Duchess of Kent'

Nine plants to deadhead

Discover nine garden plants to deadhead in the summer months.

Deadheading plants encourages them to produce another flush of flowers, rather than expending energy on the formation of fruit and seed. Find out more about the benefits of deadheading.

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Plants that benefit from deadheading include herbaceous perennials, roses, bedding and annuals. Some will cope with a ‘free and easy’ approach, while others require a bit more care.

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Find out more below, in our guide to deadheading plants in summer.

Some plants will cope with a 'free and easy' approach to deadheading, while others require a bit more care.

1

Camellia

For shrubs that bloom only once in a season, such as camellias and lilacs, removing the old flowers helps to conserve the plant’s resources so it can maintain healthy leaf and root growth. Just pinch off old blooms.

Deadheading a fading, pink camellia bloom
Deadheading a fading, pink camellia bloom
2

Choisya ternata

Deadhead Choisya ternata right after flowering is over – usually in June. Simply cut back spent flower clusters to a healthy bud.

White Mexican orange blossom
White Mexican orange blossom
3

Hebe

Hebes will need some deadheading to lengthen flowering time and improve their appearance. Cut back spent blooms to the base of the flower.

Deep-pink/purple hebe flowers
Deep-pink/purple hebe flowers
4

Lavatera

Lavateras can be encouraged to continue flowering if you deadhead the flowers before seed heads begin to form.

Mauve lavatera blooms
Mauve lavatera blooms
5

Peonies

Old peony blooms are easy to spot and they can spoil the appearance of the plant. Cut the spent flowers at the base, to prevent the production of seeds.

Removing old peony blooms with secateurs
Removing old peony blooms with secateurs
6

Pieris

Remove the spent flower clusters on pieris shrubs by cutting back to a healthy bud. Don’t deadhead too late, as you may cut into the new growth that will produce next year’s blooms.

White, bell-shaped pieris flowers
White, bell-shaped pieris flowers
7

Tree peonies

Deadhead tree peonies, such as ‘Duchess of Kent’ (pictured) by picking or snipping off spent blooms where they meet the stem. This will stop them wasting energy producing unwanted seeds.

Bright-pink peony 'Duchess of Kent'
Bright-pink peony ‘Duchess of Kent’
8

Buddleja

Buddleja flowers quickly turn brown once they’ve finished their display, giving the plant a tatty appearance. Prune old blooms at their base to improve their appearance and to encourage further blooms.

Snipping a spent buddleia bloom at the base of its stem
Snipping a spent buddleia bloom at the base of its stem
9

Roses

Roses respond particularly well to deadheading. Take a look at our advice on deadheading roses, for further detail.

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Deadheading a yellow rose
Deadheading a yellow rose
Agapanthus seedheads
Agapanthus seedheads

More plants that benefit from deadheading