Importance of Deadheading Flowering Plants

Strolling around a flower garden is always a pleasant experience. Some of us are fond of picking flowers as we walk. You may want to take advantage of such time to do one important task which is deadheading your flowers.

In this article, we’ll talk about the importance and benefits of deadheading flowering plants.

What is Deadheading?

Deadheading flowering plants is simply the act of removing fading blooms from the plant before they are able to produce seeds. When we talk of fading blooms, we mean those flower heads that are already past their prime. Deadheading should be done before the flowers wilt and dry because by that time, the flowers would have been pollinated and fertilized. It will defeat the purpose of deadheading.

As much as we want to keep those flowers until they dry, it would be more beneficial to deadhead those flowering plants ahead. This practice should be part of your periodic garden routine.

Importance of Deadheading

We grow flowering plants for the main purpose of seeing more flowers bloom which adds beauty to our surroundings. However, there are times when it would take a long time for the next batch of flowers to bloom after the first one passed. Deadheading is the answer to this challenge.

When you regularly pinch off spent flowers from your plants, this would prompt them to produce more flowers. New growth is stimulated once the older parts are cut off encouraging more flowers to be developed. This would improve the overall appearance of your garden especially if all the plants are regularly producing a generous number of flowers.

Aside from that, deadheading will also help maintain the clean look of your plants as you remove the old flowers and stalks. This is important in the maintenance of your landscape.

However, if you wish to save seeds, you can allow a few flowers to wilt and dry. Collect the seeds from the head before finally cutting the stalk.

Materials Needed for Deadheading

In deadheading flowers with soft stalks, you can use your bare hands to pinch them off. However, this is not ideal if you have a lot of flowers to work on. It would be better to use some tools to aid the process.

A good pair of bypass secateurs or pruners is an essential tool for deadheading flowers. It is made of carbon steel non-stick blades and is suitable for cutting delicate stems. Its bypass action prevents bruising the stem or stalk of the plant, which could potentially introduce disease.

It is also important to protect your hands during the deadheading process with gloves. 

Deadheading small shrubs may require that you kneel down to find the right level and angle. For comfort, you can use a kneeling pad to cushion your knees. 

Process of Deadheading

Before you start deadheading, observe first the appearance of the flower. If you notice that the blooms are starting to decline, then it’s time to deadhead. Different plants would vary in terms of the time of deadheading. Some blooms last longer while others are quick to decline.

Check if there are other buds underneath the flowers to be deadheaded. Carefully cut those faded blooms leaving other flowers undisturbed. Make sure your tools are sharp and sanitised to ensure you create clean cuts.