Deadheading is the act of removing spent flowers, leaves, and shoots from a flowering plant to encourage it to produce more blooms throughout the season. If you do not deadhead the plant will expend energy to turn the flowers into seeds. These seeds are called Rosehips. Many roses produce beautiful rosehips, and they can be used in fall or winter in floral arrangements.

Deadheading also helps keep the rose bush neat, tidy, and well-groomed. At this time, you can address shape issues with your plants and prune out any branches that prevent sunlight from getting to the center of the plant. An additional benefit is it provides good airflow to the plant.

How Does Your Rose Bush Bloom?

Cluster Stem Blooms – This rose features many flowers that are clustered together on one stem. The types of roses that fall under this category are floribunda, Grandiflora, and shrub roses.

Single Stem Blooms – This rose features one beautiful flower on a stem. This is typically a Hybrid Tea Rose.

How To Deadhead

With a bush that has clusters of blooms, you will find the flowers do not bloom at the same time. When the individual flower fades cut that flower off at the end of the bloom. When the cluster is finally done this will be the time to cut the stem.

Cut the stem above a set of five leaves. If you cut it too high up and there are only three leaves or one leaf, new growth will occur but there will be no flowers. Cut about one-quarter inch above the five leaves.

Make sure the set of five leaves is on the outside of the plant. You select the outside of the plant because this is how you want the plant to grow. You want it to grow outward, not towards the center of the plant. It is better to keep the center of the plant to stay more open.

It is not necessary to cut above the first set of five leaves. You can cut further down to keep the bush shape compact and tidy.

When deadheading a single stem bloom, it is easier as you are only dealing with one flower.  Some bushes have different leaf sets and might have more than five. Just make sure it is at least five.

Cut Direction

There are two cutting directions for deadheading your roses. Either cutting technique is good to use. It is just personal preference.

Slanted – The benefit to this method is the water drainage will not site on top of the plant.

Straight – Less surface area of the plant will be exposed for bacteria to get into the plant.

It is important to know what kind of rose bush you have as some do not have to be deadheaded. Climbing roses, shrub roses only bloom once in a season, so they do not need to be deadheaded. Landscape roses and many newer varieties are bred so you do not need to deadhead them. They will just keep on blooming all season long and keep looking nice.

Let us know if you have any tips for deadheading your roses.

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