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The Right Way to Deadhead Flowers

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Don’t guess on how to Deadhead Your Flowers- see these simple tips!

The Right Way to DeadHead Flowers

Deadhead Flowers- Simple Tips:

If you have a flower garden, you might have noticed the blooms will start to die off and wilt this time of year. An easy way to keep your flowers looking nice and even extend their bloom season is to Deadhead Flowers.

Most of us have probably heard of this, but for beginner gardeners or anyone who hasn’t done it, here are a few easy tips to make sure you’re correctly pruning and Deadheading your flower blooms.

Several Methods to Deadhead Flowers:

Deadheading Flowers is a fairly simple thing to do. You can pinch off the heads on most small blooms by hand. I walk through the garden with a small trash bowl, and just look for any dried up blooms on my plants. I can empty dead blooms and stems right into an outdoor garbage container.

flower seeds

If you have a very large garden, be sure to use gloves and a handheld pair of pruning shears to keep your hands from tiring.

dead flower

Some blooms like Chrysanthemums have a TON of blooms that all need to go right at once. In this case, I enlist a volunteer — like my husband– who can help with this chore. Just pinch all the flowers off right underneath the bloom, as shown below.

Cut off dead leaves just below where the dried up portion starts.

Another tip I have is not to wait too long to Deadhead Flowers. If you are seeing dead blooms, go ahead and remove them to hopefully extend the bloom season. No need to let them sit on there for days or weeks!

cut off dead flower

Have the Right Gardening Tools:

  • Be sure to invest in a good pair of handheld pruning shears.  You might notice many stems are thicker and you can not just simply pinch off a bloom or stem.  In this case, find a pair of handheld pruning shears that will give the stem a clean cut.

    If you have dull shears or any that aren’t up to the task, you can risk harming the stem and ruining any chance of a new bloom.

    Cut the dead flower off at the top of the stem with your sheers.  If the stem has more than one dead bloom or the entire stem has died, go ahead and cut at the base of the plant.

new flowers - How to Deadhead Flowers post.

What NOT to Deadhead:

In general, it’s good to be familiar with your flower varieties and look it up if you don’t know. I had to look up a few references on my sunflowers. I was surprised to learn you don’t want to cut off the blooms right away!

Waiting a few days until the petals are falling off is key to saving the seeds at the right time. Little things like this are easy to look up, so it’s important to be familiar with the varieties of flowers you’re working with. 🙂

Sunflower - How to Deadhead Flowers Tips

In my case with my sunflowers, t just took a couple minutes of Googling to find the answers I needed, before I cut the dried out blooms down. It paid off– there was a few specific things I didn’t know beforehand!

There are also a few flower varieties that won’t be helped by deadheading. For example, day-lilies, hydrangeas, and supertunias.

Some annuals you purchase in-store are one season only, and won’t be able to reseed after one blooming season.

If you do have a variety of hydrangea, be sure you know when and how to prune this gorgeous plant. They are picky and certain varieties will not bloom the following year if improperly cut down. I learned this the hard way unfortunately!


I hope these tips have been helpful. Leave us a comment on Facebook or the blog post on any must-have tips you can share for Deadheading Flowers. Thanks for reading!

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