The 6 plants you should be deadheading now – from roses to peonies and how to do it

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Deadheading is the term used for when you remove the flowers from plants when they appear to be wilting or dead. This task is pivotal for optimum plant health as it helps them produce new, fresh flowers instead of expending energy on producing seeds – which can make them much less hardy and much more prone to death.

Deadheading your plants isn’t particularly hard to do, but it can be quite time-consuming – and some plants require more attention than others.

Although, if you do have time, any small effort can go a long way in extending the lifespan of your blooms.

Not only will it promote a more lengthy life, but there are also multiple other benefits to deadheading your plants.

Dead, wet petals stick to plant leaves which can cause them to rot, leaving unsightly brown patches or broken leaves.

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Removing the dead flowers will also promote the production of fresher, brighter, and more replenished flowers for a much better display.

Deadheading can also prevent an abundance of extra – possibly unwanted – flowers growing in places you didn’t initially intend them to.

After plants flower, they can fall to the ground, causing seeds to tip out of the heads, promoting new flower growth.

Despite this, there are some lower-maintenance plants that don’t need deadheading, such as Fuchsias, but a fair few of the plants Britons grow in their gardens tend to need a snip.

Here are the 6 plants you should be deadheading now.


Peonies are vibrant and beautiful when thriving, and this thankfully makes it much easier to spot when in need of a deadhead.

Make sure to cut wilted-looking heads at the very base to prevent further production of seeds.


Pieris are another plant you should prioritise when taking on the task of deadheading.

To help Pieris create more foliage, remove the dead flower clusters on the shrubs by cutting back to the bud, but make sure not to deadhead these too late.

If you leave this too late, you might accidentally cut into the new growth that produces next year’s blooms.

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Buddleja plants are particularly crucial to focus on now in late spring more than others, to prevent the shrub from growing too big in the coming months.

This will help the flowering to take place a little later in the season to produce plenty of pollen for butterflies.


Roses are an incredibly popular plant amongst Britons, making for spectacular displays in gardens as well as a great scent.

Roses respond particularly well to deadheading, and regularly monitoring them will ensure they look their best throughout the summer season.

Gently snap off the wilted flowers by breaking the stalk just below the


You can substantially increase the growth of Lavateras through regular deadheading.

Make sure to carry this out before the seed heads begin to form, as these are particularly prone to dispersing. However, if you’d like additional growth in more areas, leave a few blooms in late summer.


Geraniums are super easy to care for and don’t really need to be pruned, but they should be regularly deadheaded.

Without deadheading, the flowers can become sparse and they can eventually stop producing flowers.

To encourage rapid growth and a vibrant display, cut the spent heads of the flowers at the base as soon as you see them start to wilt.

How to deadhead plants

There are multiple ways you can carry out this activity, but it can be as easy as using your fingers and thumbs.

Pinch off the faded blooms, but aim to remove the flower with its stalk to ensure a more tidy appearance.

Secateurs, scissors, or a knife work just as well, and work more effectively with tougher or more stringy stems.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) suggests for border perennials and annuals to “trim away the old flowers, generally cutting back to a bud or leaf.”

This tends to apply to most flowers, ensure you cleanly take off the head.

Roses should be snapped by the stalk, and more hardy plants like Geraniums can be cut back down to ground level to promote a second flush of blooms.

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