Deadheading flowers is the process of removing spent flower blooms. It is accomplished by snipping, pruning, pinching, cutting, or using any other means to remove the dead (or spent) bloom. Remove the dead flower, along with the flower stem, where the flower stem meets the stem of the plant. It’s good for your plants in several ways. Most importantly, it promotes the growth of new blooms in many, but not all flowers. Deadheading helps with healthy plant growth. By removing unsightly brown and dried-out flowers, the plant looks its best.
Deadheading flowers have a lot of benefits. It has but one drawback. When you remove the spent bloom, you are removing the seeds. Sometimes the seeds fall to the ground to produce next year’s flowers. Other times, gardeners choose to collect them for later use.
Be a “Dead Header” and deadhead your plants regularly!
There are a couple of big reasons why you should deadhead spent blooms.
Deadheading promotes new flower growth. All things in nature have a built-in desire to reproduce offspring. Flower plants are no exception. Inside of the flower is where the seeds are produced to create the next generation of plants. Once they have been produced, the plant has satisfied its need to reproduce. At that time, flower production stops.
By deadheading the blooms, you trick the plant into believing that its reproductive task is not yet accomplished. Often, the plant will then produce another series of flowers. Pretty cool, huh!?!
Dead flowers lose their color, dry up, and in general, begin to look ugly. So, reason number two to deadhead flowers is pretty obvious. Deadheading makes plants look better, and overall spruces up the appearance of your flower bed. Many gardeners take this as an opportunity to trim and reshape the plant, into an attractive shape.
It is usually best to deadhead spent bloom as soon as the flower has died. Some flowers, like Lilacs, need to be removed immediately after blooming, or you risk trimming off next year’s blooms.
No, not all. Roses will, Lilacs won’t. Mums will, flowering bulbs won’t. Do you know if the flowers in your flower bed will re-bloom if you deadhead them? When in doubt, we recommend you give it a try. At the very least, you will improve the appearance of the plant.