Deadheading is the term used when you remove flowers from plants when they appear wilted or dead. This task is critical to optimal plant health, as it helps them produce fresh, new flowers instead of wasting energy on producing seeds, which can make them much less resistant and much more likely to die.
Topping off your plants isn’t particularly difficult to do, but it can be time consuming, and some plants require more attention than others.
Although, if you have the time, any little effort can go a long way in extending the life of your flowers.
Not only will it promote a longer life, but there are many other benefits for your plants as well.
Wet, dead petals stick to plant leaves, which can cause them to rot, leaving unsightly brown spots or broken leaves.
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Removing dead blooms will also promote the production of fresher, brighter, replenished blooms for a much better display.
Deadheading can also prevent a lot of extra, possibly unwanted flowers from growing in places you didn’t initially intend.
After the plants flower, they can drop to the ground, causing the seeds to fall out of the heads and promoting the growth of new flowers.
Despite this, there are some low-maintenance plants that don’t need pruning, such as fuchsias, but some of the plants that Brits grow in their gardens do tend to need trimming.
Buddleja plants are particularly crucial to focus on now in late spring more than others, to prevent the bush from growing too tall in the coming months.
This will help bloom a little later in the season to produce enough pollen for the butterflies.
Roses are an incredibly popular plant among the British, making them spectacular garden displays as well as a great scent.
Roses respond particularly well to dead blooms, and monitoring them regularly will ensure they look their best throughout the summer season.
Gently pluck wilted flowers by breaking the stem just below the
You can substantially increase the growth of Lavateras through regular deadheading.
Be sure to do this before seed heads start to form, as they are particularly prone to scattering. However, if you want additional growth in more areas, leave a few blooms in late summer.
Geraniums are very easy to care for and don’t really need to be pruned, but they do need to be cut regularly.
Without deadheading, flowers can become sparse and may eventually stop producing flowers.
To encourage rapid growth and a vibrant display, cut off spent flower heads at the base as soon as you see them beginning to wilt.
How to head plants
There are several ways to do this activity, but it can be as easy as using your fingers and thumbs.
Pinch off faded flowers, but aim to remove the flower with its stem to ensure a neater appearance.
Pruning shears, scissors, or a knife work just as well and work more effectively with tougher or more stringy stems.
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) suggests that perennials and annuals in the border “trim off old flowers, usually reducing them to a bud or leaf”.
This tends to apply to most flowers, make sure you remove the head cleanly.
Roses should be broken at the stem, and tougher plants like geraniums can be cut back to ground level to promote a second flush of blooms.