Deadheading roses is the practice of removing the spent flowers. This type of rose bush care will encourage the plant to produce more blooms.
This is a simple, yet very important task, that encourages greater flower production, as well as keeping the plant neat looking, and reducing petal litter.
Garden roses such as the Hybrid Tea Rose, bloom continually all season on new growth, so it is most important to keep trimming off the spent blooms.
Deadheading roses such as landscape roses, will help improve their flowering ability also. Of course, mass plantings of shrub roses will be more difficult to do, because of the sheer number of blooms, but make an attempt to keep as many spent flowers cut as possible, to get as many re-blooms as you can.
When deadheading your roses, you should cut the stem at a 45 degree angle below the faded flower (or) cluster of flowers, at the point just above the first five-leaflet.
This encourages the new flowering stem to grow out from the leaf axil. Cutting in this manner, will give you lots more flowers!
If you need a visual: look here for instructions with pictures. When deadheading rosebushes,be sure to use clean, sharp pruning shears and hand garden tools. Old, or dull tools will shred the canes, leaving way for infection of the plant.
I like to keep a container of bleach, and a plastic bucket out in the
garden shed. Then when I'm out deadheading the roses, I can mix a bit of
bleach and water in the bucket to dip my pruners in as I go from bush
to bush. (This keeps my pruners disinfected to help in the spread of
If your roses bloom in clusters, one or two of the flowers often fade before the others, so to keep the bush looking neat and tidy, snip out the faded flowers. When the whole cluster is spent, trim off the entire cluster.
Reminder Make the cut above the first leaf with five leaflets, and be sure that it faces outward away from the center of the bush. This will keep the new growth directed away from the center of the bush.
By doing this, you will soon have a whole new cluster of flowers to enjoy!
To deadhead repeat-blooming climbers:
When the flowers fade, cut back the secondary stems that held the flowers to a point that will leave two five-leaflet leaves remaining on that stem. Soon new flowering stems will grow from those leaf axils, producing another show of flowers.
For Once-blooming Climbers:
When the flower show is over, and the flowers have faded, prune out the oldest canes.
There are many ways to use your flower petals, my favorite way to use up spent petals is to make rose petal potpourri I don't like to see the petals go to waste, so I often find myself gathering the blossoms from spent blooms to add to my potpourri! You should stop deadheading the roses that produce hips,such as Shrub, or Species roses, in mid to late Summer. The uncut spent flowers will go to seed, producing the beautiful(rose hips).
Find a great recipe for Rose Hip Tea here. The rose hips are loaded with vitamin C!
Some roses continue to produce blooms even if you neglect to deadhead them, but with a little help from the gardener (you), you will enjoy many more flowers.
If you live in a cold climate be sure to check out
Winterizing Roses .