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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Deadheading Roses



Deadheading may sound like a slightly scary medieval practice, but it’s just the simple process of getting rid of your flower plant’s dead ends.

If you’re trying to grow out your hair, then regular trims are important. The same is true for plants that you want to thrive. And it’s particularly important for rose bushes.


But rose experts will be quick to tell you that there’s a huge variety of roses and they require different care and different dead-heading methods.


Why Deadhead?


Once a flower dies on the stem, the plant’s energies are focused on developing seeds from the head of the dead flower. Since we’d prefer the plant devote its energies into developing more flowers, we get rid of the spent blooms.


The easiest, simplest way to do this with your rose bush is to just cut off the spent rose at the end of the stem, right above where the foliage begins. You’ll find that it has the instant benefit of making the bush look livelier and more beautiful, but it will also have the long-term benefit of encouraging more blooms.


How to Deadhead Hybrid Tea Roses


Some types of roses require a different approach to deadheading, and hybrid tea roses are one of them. The key is to first identify the top set of five leaflets. Then, you trim the stem right below where the second set of five leaflets is located.


If you’re deadheading at the end of summer or start of fall, it’s also OK to simply snip the bloom off. Doing this encourages more foliage and plant growth, which is what you want when you’re nearing the dormant season of winter. Be careful not to do this earlier in the season, however, because it will result in shorter stems.


How to Deadhead Floribunda and Spray Roses


When it comes to these two types of roses, you can trim anywhere below a whole cluster of spent roses. Look for the place where the rose cane, or main stem, is big enough.


How to Deadhead Shrub Roses


Popular shrub roses, like the Knock Out, are made to essentially do the deadheading for you. They are purposely bred to shed their spent blooms, or self-clean. So, it might not even be necessary for you to deadhead them.


It’s still a good idea to do a clean-up every so often when it looks like they need it. When you do, just trim the flower off to ensure that new growth happens more quickly.


How to Prune Roses


It’s common for most roses to require occasional pruning. In the spring, take the time to assess your plant and get rid of dead or dried stems that are close to the ground. This is also a good time to trim the tops to achieve a uniform shape.


One thing you should generally avoid is pruning in the fall. Pruning results in more flower growth, which is not good for the plant as you get closer to the first frost. During this time, your rose plant needs to be transferring their food reserves to the roots. Each time you prune or cut in the few weeks before winter, you interrupt this important process. However, it is a good idea to prune tall roses like grandifloras and hybrid teas to avoid them whipping around in the high winds of winter.


If you’re interested in growing new types of roses or learning more about how to best care for the ones you have, don’t hesitate to stop into Packard Farm. Since we are a Proven Winner Certified Garden Center, you can always depend on the very best in plant quality and expert service.


Happy rose growing, friends!

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