Deadheading petunias flowers

How do you keep flowers blooming? How do you make flowers healthier? One answer to these questions may be deadheading. What does deadheading mean in gardening? If you have never heard of this practice, learning about it could be the answer to your flower woes. This guide will explain what deadheading is when you should do it, how to deadhead flowers for optimal results, TG, and more.

What Is Deadheading?

What does deadhead mean in gardening? Many people look for the deadhead meaning or deadhead flowers meaning online and find different answers. Deadheading plants or flowers involves cutting off blooms or portions that are fading or dead. The practice has several benefits. Proper deadheading at the right time may even help you avoid the disappointment of a dead flower plant.

What Are the Benefits of Deadheading?

The purpose or main benefit of deadheading flowers is encouraging more blooming. When some flowering plants have dead flowers, they start looking less healthy. Why do they do this? Plants tend to focus all their energy on producing seeds after their flowers start dying. When you deadhead them, they focus their energy on root and vegetation growth. So, imagine that you are tricking the plant, and it still thinks that it needs to produce flowers and seeds. That is how deadheading encourages additional blooming.

There are two other benefits of cutting dead flowers as well. First, you can prevent unwanted seedlings from starting in other places in your yard or garden. As seeds develop and fall off on their own, the wind can carry them to other places where they may grow. Second, you can improve the appearance of your flowering plants. After a short time, you may notice that the entire plant looks healthier if there are no other issues. Additionally, you will not have unsightly dead flowers on it.

Flowers That Need to Be Deadheaded

Now, you may be wondering what flowers need to be deadheaded. Should you deadhead mums? What about roses? Yes, mums can benefit from deadheading. Cut dead mums frequently for better results. However, while it is good to deadhead some roses, you should not deadhead hip-producing plants if you want fall or winter hips. Although this is not a complete list of all flowers to deadhead, these are some other flowers that should be deadheaded:

  • Marigolds
  • Salvias
  • Hardy geraniums
  • Petunias
  • Delphiniums
  • Zinnias
  • Sweet peas
  • Marguerite daisies
  • Blanket flowers
  • Snapdragons

Do All Flowers Need Deadheading?

Deadheading is a valuable practice for both annual and perennial plants in some cases. However, not all plants that exist need to have their fading flowers trimmed. Deadheading plants can be detrimental in some cases. This is why it is always important to research the specific type of plant you have first. For example, if you want your lobelias or forget-me-nots to bloom next year, deadheading is not recommended. There are others that should not be cut as well. If you do not know the name of your flowering plant, there are several free plant identification apps you can find online. Some even allow you to simply snap a photo of the plant, upload it and see matches. Also, you can take a photo and ask a local garden store.

6 Tips for Deadheading Like a Pro

When it comes to deadheading, there is more to it than simply cutting off dead flowers. These valuable tips will help you deadhead flowers at the right time and using the right technique. Whether you are here to learn how to deadhead a mum or if deadheading involves more than cutting, these tips will help.

1. Use the Right Technique for Cutting Dead Flowers

So, perhaps you have mums and wonder how to trim dead mums. Maybe you have daisies as well. Fortunately, the trimming technique is similar for different types of flowering plants. Trim the flower off just below its base on the stem and above the leaves that are on the stem. For some types of plants, it also helps to trim back the foliage. Check to see if this applies to your specific type of plant.

2. Use Good Shears

Maybe you have so much deadheading to do that it looks like you have a dead flower garden. If so, be sure to use quality shears. Inadequate shears can make your hands feel fatigued or cramped. Also, low-quality shears can lead to unnecessary injuries and frustrations. The shears should be sharp, and they should have ergonomic grips or handles. Use anvil-type shears for better results. Investing in quality pruning shears and maintaining them properly is better than buying cheap products and dealing with rust or other problems.

3. Know When to Deadhead

Do you deadhead mums in the fall or spring? What flowers do you deadhead often? These questions also emphasize why researching your specific plant is important. For some plants, regular deadheading is better. However, some flowering plants only need occasional trimming. As a general rule, it is better to cut flowers as soon as they start fading. This is usually around early spring for many flowering plants. Some flowers should be cut in the summer, and others should be trimmed in the fall. Read some guides from multiple reliable sources to get the most tips. Also, consider where your plant stays. Is it planted outside in the ground? Maybe you keep your plant indoors all year or bring it in only during the colder months. Be sure to look for tips that are specific to indoor plants or those that are brought in seasonally.

4. Look for Seed Capsules

If you are deadheading for the purposes of appearance and limiting seed spreading, this is an important tip. Flowering plants often produce seed pods just below the flower's base near the stem. On some plants, they can be difficult to see and may be tucked away behind leaves. They often appear the same color as the stem and split apart into seed pods. If you trim them away before they fully form, your plant may look healthier. Remember that plants channel a lot of energy into seed production. If you put off the seed production, the plant focuses on keeping its roots and above-ground body healthier.

5. Fertilize Your Plants Regularly

In many cases, deadheading without fertilizing can leave you with a less-than-desirable outcome. Regular fertilizing keeps your plants healthy and encourages new growth. Be sure to research your specific type of plant for fertilizer product recommendations. Also, follow a schedule that is best for the plant and your region.

6. Water Before You Deadhead Flowers

Did you know that a plant loses some moisture every time you cut it? Some plants lose more moisture than others. Perhaps you see what looks like a drop or two of water from a cut stem. If you have a lot of flowers to remove, your plant can lose a significant amount of moisture. Always water the plant well before you start cutting to ensure that it stays hydrated.

If you are ready to get started deadheading plants, head to your local True Value store to find everything you need.