What flowers require deadheading? The full guide to the do’s and don’ts

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Deadheading is the practice of removing dead blooms from your flowers in order to keep the plant health. This is also one of a gardener’s best tools for keeping their outdoor space looking bright, fresh and colourful all season long. Even novice gardeners can deadhead their plants, so what flowers do you need to deadhead, when do you get the clippers out and where do you cut? Express.co.uk has a full guide.

What flowers require deadheading?

Deadheading is suitable for most flowering garden plants, and is best done when the flowers fade or die.

Even beginners can deadhead, as it’s a very simple task to carry out.

But knowing what flowers to deadhead is important – you don’t want to cut back flowers if doing so won’t actually help the plant thrive.

READ MORE: Should you deadhead lupins? 10 plants you should deadhead this year

Some of the best plants to deadhead include:

  • Bedding plants such as argyranthemums, cherry pie, pansies, polyanthus and petunias
  • Geraniums
  • Roses
  • Shrubs such as rhododendron (and azaleas), camellias, lilacs and tree peonies
  • Climbers – especially Eccremocarpus
  • Bulbs

Some plants are low maintenance, however, and won’t need deadheading – or may not need it as frequently as those listed above.

These include:

  • Angelonia
  • Calibrachoa
  • Lantana
  • New Guinea Impatiens
  • Peony
  • Fuchsias
  • Bedding lobelia
  • Salvia

When should you deadhead your plants?

Gardeners should begin deadheading their flowers in the spring, and most try to get at their plants at the first sign of the petals falling off.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS|) advises to “remove the spent flowers as soon as they look scruffy”.

The advice adds: “In practice, gardeners usually have to remove them as soon as they can and, thankfully, a few days delay won’t make a difference.”

It’s important to maintain this through the summer and autumn to keep your flowers blooming for as long as possible.

But once the weather begins to grow colder, you should stop deadheading.

How to deadhead your plants?

There are two very simple methods of deadheading – one requires secateurs, scissors or a knife, while the second is using just your finger and thumb.

The simplest method sees gardeners simply pinch off the faded bloom, removing the flower with its stalk.

For example, for deadheading roses you want to snap the flowers off by breaking the stalk just below the head.

However, for those tough plants that don’t snap off as easily, you may want to grab some trusty tools to do the job.

Plants like dahlias, calendulas, marigolds and shrubs such as lilac can be difficult to pinch off so it’s advised to grab your scissors for this flowering plants

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