How and When to Deadhead Roses
The reason you deadhead roses is to produce more flowers and tidy up the plant. The time to deadhead is as soon as the flower starts to fade and look untidy.
- A clean sharp pair of secateurs, or cutters, clean and sharp help prevent disease and a clean cut prevents damage.
- Scissors are not generally strong enough to make good clean cut, so they are not recommended.
- Gardening gloves, prevents scratches from thorns.
- A bucket to drop the cuttings into, easier than cleaning up later and rose cuttings are best destroyed rather than left on the ground where they can encourage disease
Deadhead Roses in 3 Easy Steps
- Where to make the cut.
Knowing where to deadhead, or ‘make the cut’ is important. Look down the stem from the spent rose head to a place where 5 strong leaflets are growing any less and the new growth can be ‘non flowering’.
- Use your sharp clean secateurs and snip of the old flower then just above where the leaf joins the stem, a nice clean cut and dispose of the pruning. \Cut a little less than 1/4 inch ( 1 cm) above the union.
- While you are at it remove any dead or damaged growth, weed around the rose and check the mulch.
Why does dead heading produce more flowers?
Simply because it stops the rose from putting energy into producing rose hips and they use this energy to produce more flowers instead.
If left on the plant, dead flowers release hormones or a signal that tell the plant that ‘it’s time to produce seeds or rose hips’ rather than ‘it’s time to flower’.
So deadheading encourages energy in the plant to go to flowering areas of the plant and therefore encourages better new or repeat flowering.
TOP TIPS and Questions
- Trying to deadhead by breaking or just trying to knock or break the old flowers off without cutting is not recommended as again this does not leave a clean cut and can cause disease or dieback.
Should you prune to an outward facing leaf join ?
You can, and some gardeners say this opens up the bush improves air flow and helps prevent diseases. HOWEVER, roses will put out new shoots from wherever they want to, not necessarily where you want then too.
From deadheading to reflowing should take around 6 weeks.
The only roses that you do not need deadhead are those non repeat roses, or those that you want to encourage to produce rose hips. ALSO Knockout roses do not need to be deadheaded , they will re-flower well without any problems.