How to - Techniques

Deadhead to keep flowers blooming

Try this savvy gardener tip to trick plants into extending their bloom period

Daylilies are among the easiest plants to deadhead, helping to keep them looking tidy. Simply snap off each dead flower at its base where it joins the flower stem, taking care not to remove any of the new buds clustered near it. When all the buds have bloomed and been removed, cut the flower stalk down to the ground.

Some flowering shrubs can be deadheaded to encourage a second flush of flowers. Roses are a good example. Cut the flower stems to a lower bud or to the next set of five leaves. Not all shrubs respond to pruning with a second flowering period, but cutting off the browned blooms of lilacs, for example, can keep the shrub looking attractive.

Once you get the knack, you’ll see how easy it is to keep your flower border blooming, especially if you walk through the garden regularly to snip off faded blossoms—and you’ll notice the difference in how tidy your garden looks, too.

Lorraine Flanigan is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for gardening. You can read her personal gardening journal at City Gardening.


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