A Guide to Deadheading Flowers

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a guide to deadheading flowers

If there is one thing that makes gardening so interesting- it’s completely therapeutic. It makes you feel good and have a really refreshing start to your day. Researchers suggest when you are completely and passionately involved in doing so. But gardening is also a lot of hard and serious work. And it includes many tactics and techniques to master including the deadheading flowers.

Now this process is really essential. It is the method in which you have to remove flowers from plants when they look like they are fading or already dead. It is an essential that we get this done. This ensures that your plant is in complete and optimal health. You need to make sure your plants are looking attractive. Also the blooming of the plants can only happen when you remove the dead elements from it.

This also ensures that you are keeping these plants in optimal condition and you are keeping them bloomed. As when they are in the optimal condition, be it in beds and borders or in containers and hanging baskets, you have to ensure that they are blooming

In this article, I am going to be talking in detail on what relates to deadheading flowers and plants, ways to do it, why is it essential and it’s important.

So let’s start:

Reasons for deadheading:

Flowers are probably the major thing about plants which makes them so appealing and attractive to us. It is basically the major element when your plant is blooming. But when these flowers start to fade, they will be losing their edge.  You need to make sure that their complete appearance is not impacted. This includes the appearance of the beds, borders and containers too.

So a few reasons that ensure your deadheading is at the perfect pace include:

Deadheading is not something which ensures you are just getting an attractive garden. In fact it is something which is needed so that your flowers grow in a strong manner and you are able to plant many more flowers. Once the flowers are pollinate, you will notice how the seed heads, pods and even those minor capsules actually benefit. This is through their expansion and can grow in strong and develop faster.

The method works really well when you make use of numerous petals. This includes the likes of flower types like peonies, and even roses, as they will definitely be scattering debris if not used in a proper manner.

What to Deadhead

adapting deadhead tactics

Now the question arises how do you decide onto what kind of flowers should you be deadheading. The process requires precision from your end. You have to spend ample of time in understanding how to take care of the scruffy look.

While it is best to remove the dried, dull ones as soon as they start appearing, there is no hard and fast rule about it. It will not impact your gardening in drastic ways. So you don’t need to worry about that.

Now when it comes to the kind of plants you can deadhead, they are a few kinds which work better with this technique as compared to others. Let’s see what they are:

Bedding Plants

This is basically relating to the tender plants which we grow in containers and hanging baskets and they respond well to even deadheading. This includes the likes of cherry pie, pansies as well as petunias. But these can be very delicate and you need to make use of your finger and thumb when trying to remove them.

Roses and Geraniums

This relates to the two common types of flowers which should be taken care of in the optimal way. There is a certain tactic involved when you are cutting out the dead flowers from them. In Pelargonium, you need to actually hold the faded flower stalk at the base area and you will put it downward. This makes the old bloom snap out in a swift and quick motion. Whereas for roses, you can just gently snap these faded flowers out by breaking the stalk just below the head.

Shrubs Deadheading

When we are talking about the process of deadheading shrubs, this too is essential and must be done in a practical way. In this way you will be able to ensure the plants and the garden bed are in optimal condition and you are doing everything right.

In this too you will be using your finger and thumb as you try to pick or snap off the dead heads as they join at the stem. Avoid damaging buds and make sure that the flower growth is secure.

Climbers and Bulbs

Lastly I want to talk about these two kinds. When it comes to deadhead climbers, you need to understand that they are practical and are really great at producing those seed pods. So you have to make sure that the same is being done in an optimal way. When it comes to bulbs, you should be removing the flowers from the larger bulbs like that of daffodils. But there is a technique here. You should ensure that the green flower stalk is in the rightful place. Especially when talking about the process of photosynthesis. It is how the plants make food and you need to ensure it is being done in the optimal manner otherwise you will not be able to make use of a productive and healthy plant.

Using Fertilizers

Another major thing I wish to highlight and talk about is how the use of fertilizers comes into the picture. As we already know how fertilizers, be it organic or synthetic, aim to work and provide great results. However for the same, your garden needs to be in a good condition so that the soil can take in all the benefits in a great way. So it is important that you make use of deadheading so to ensure that the fresh and healthy bloom is getting all the essential nutrients.

How to Deadhead- know how’s its done

using deadhead to ensure proper growth

This is basically relating to ways in which you will have to ensure that the deadheading flowers mechanism is being done in an optimal and effective manner. When we talk about this technique, the simplest way of doing so is by actually pinching those faded blooms using just your finger and thumb. What you need to aim for is the removal of the flower but doing so with the stalk still in tact. This helps you to ensure that you are getting the technique adapted in the most efficient way.

So want to know how to practically get it done?

Cutting the Precise Way

For any of those border perennials and annuals, you can trim the old flowers when you cut back to the bud or leaf.

As for the delphiniums and lupins, you can make use of a second flush of flowers and cut back close to the ground level after the flowering process. Some other kinds will include the lady’s mantle as well as oriental poppies. You just need to be well-aware of how to cut those stems and ensure that the plant is growing in an optimal way.

Another way to look at this is that you gently make a cut of the faded flowers of the roses. And this means you will have to break the stalk just below the head. It is critical that you understand that you should not be cutting above the leaf, in fact the snapping way is better for the blooming of the flowers. This includes making use of repeat-flowering cultivars.

So we have covered in detail as what is deadheading flowers, how is it done and why is it essential.

But one confusion arises- does every kind of gardening needs deadheading? Well, not really. This is not something you will guarantee for all kinds of gardening options you make use of. So let’s see how that works:

When Deadheading Is Not Needed:

using deadhead tools

Some plants don’t need this. This is specifically for the case of fuchsias. They come in those category of plants which will not require much of seeding. You don’t need deadheading as they are pretty neat in themselves.

Also did you know that there are those faded flowers which actually consist of seeds which are eaten by birds too. This includes the cornflower as well as sunflower from the sunflower plant. They are really healthy for our feathered friends and should not be removed as such.

Other than that you don’t need to deadhead the kinds of plants which actually consist of berries. They are an asset to your plants and don’t think of removing them.


using deadheading for efficient gardening

So here you had a complete overview on what is deadheading flowers and why is it becoming a major way of cultivation of your healthy gardens. When we talk about deadheading, it is actually a means to keep your garden and plantation strong and healthy, while ensuring that your garden looks beautiful. When it comes the way of doing it, its a skill which you can definitely master with good practice. Having a beautiful garden is not as hard, when you know how to get it done!

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