Last Updated: January 30, 2017

Definition - What does Deadheading mean?

Deadheading is the removal of dead blooms from a flower or shrub to promote new growth. Although not a necessity, deadheading keeps the garden looking tidy by removing dead blooms.

Most often deadheading is done with scissors, but some plants with a very dense bloom cycle are best deadheaded using a shear.

MaximumYield explains Deadheading

Deadheading can be performed just as the bloom has peaked and is beginning to fade or after the bloom has completely dried.

Many plants, such as salvia, bloom a second time when deadheaded, so it is recommended to promote new growth. Other plants such as shrub roses for example, may not bloom again, but appear much neater when they are deadheaded.

There are perennials like Echinacea (purple coneflower) or butterfly weed that are not always deadheaded so that they are able to reseed themselves. Deadheading is also not a common practice in mass plantings such as in a prairie where reseeding is an important part of sustainability.

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