Pruning rose
Deadheading is the removal of dead or unhealthy parts of a plant, allowing it to give more energy to producing fresh new growth.

Deadheading is a simple task, but an important one as it will help your plants to look and be as full of life as possible. For best results, it's good to get in the routine of deadheading as early and as often as you can. Doing this helps plants to look their best by stopping their energy going into seed production, and instead encouraging the plant to produce more flowers.

  • Your plants will look and be healthier
  • A task you can do daily in the garden
  • A sensory task that you can do with many plants by just using your hands
  • One of the great things about this task is that you can do it with your children, or even hand over the responsibility to them. This depends on if they are at an age that they can safely use a tool such as a secateur
  • Show them how to identify flowers that are dead or dying and how to remove them
  • Some people do this task every day, so it is a good task you could do with your child frequently or handover to your child to do on a regular basis
  • This will help children to learn about nature and how to take care of plants, as well as providing them the opportunity to take responsibility for something

Deadheading is a suitable task for most flowering plants, including:

  • Roses
  • Hebe
  • Dahlias
  • Lavenders
  • Geraniums
  • Zinnias
  • Shrubs, such as camellias, lilacs and tree peonies
  • Climbers such as eccremocarpus
  1. Identify the parts of the plant that are dead or dying. It's often small parts of a plant, but sometimes the whole plant is dying and needs to start over. Signs a flower is dying include losing colour, stunted growth or the plant is wilting.
  2. Look for the point in the plant stem or branch where there are still healthy leaves or buds.
  3. Remove the part of the plant from the nearest point that there is healthy buds or leaves. You can use your finger and thumb to pull off the desired part of the plant, or you can cut it off with secateurs.
  4. Repeat this process on your flowers around the garden.

If you are concerned about cutting the wrong part of the plant, no need to worry. Deadheading is foolproof because if you accidentally snip anything you didn't mean to, it will still encourage new growth in the plant.

Try our free online resource to learn about the health benefits of gardens and nature

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