You should be deadheading your flowers regularly during the growing season. Deadheading is a term used for removing the dead flower from a living plant. It may seem tedious but you and your flowering plants will benefit from it.
Why You Should Deadhead Your Flowers
- Beauty – Your flowers will look better when the dead flowers are removed. You can see from the pictures below that my mums look so much prettier after the brown flowers are removed.
- Extended Blooming – When the dead flowers are removed, the plant will produce more. This, of course, depends on the species of plant. Some plants only produce 1 flower per growing season but most will continue to produce blooms if the plant is regularly deadheaded.
- Conserve Energy – Removing the dead parts of the plant allow it to direct the energy towards new growth. If your plant only produces 1 flower per growing season then removing the dead flower will allow the plant to direct its energy to the roots and leaves making a stronger healthier plant.
How You Should Deadhead Your Flowers
- Pinching – Flowers that have thin stems can usually just be pinched off with your fingers. This is the easiest and quickest way of deadheading. I usually just have a small bucket or sack near so that I can throw the dead blooms in while moving through the flower bed.
- Pruning – If the stems are too thick to pinch you will need to use some handheld pruning shears. Cut the dead flower off at the top of the stem if there are unopened blooms below. If the entire stem has bloomed and died then cut the stem at the base of the plant.
- Shearing – If your plant has many small blooms you can wait for the majority to die and then shear them off all at once. You may lose a few fresh blooms in the process but new ones should form in their place.
Deadheading My Chrysanthemums
Chrysanthemums or garden mums are my favorite fall plants to deadhead. They are easy to pinch off and they are quick to give off new blooms. Mums are a beautiful addition to any garden but they are often treated as an annual. Depending on your growing zone you may be able to plant mums in the ground and enjoy them year after year. You can read about my attempt to make my chrysanthemums a perennial plant. Chrysanthemums: When To Plant Garden Mums