How To Deadhead Perennials & Why

How to deadhead perennials? and why?, are questions We get often.   Deadhead is a term that means to remove old spent flowers.  This can be done throughout the year, especially during the Summer.

Why Deadhead Perennials?

There are several benefits to deadheading perennials, among them are cleanliness and improving reblooming.  Removing the old flower heads keeps the garden tidy and and fresh through the hot summer months, so that you don’t have spent flowers mixed in with the new ones.  Some birds enjoy feeding on Coneflower and other perennial seedheads.  You can bundle the cut heads and hang them for the birds and have a neat garden at the same time.  Removing the old flowers encourages the young or dormant flower buds on the lower part of stems to develop more quickly.  Deadheading also allows the plant to use it’s energy for growth or reblooming, instead of producing seeds.  This can help the plant store more energy for the following year.

Here are a few Perennials that respond well to deadheading:

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Beard’s Tongue

Blackeyed Susan



Daylily (Reblooming Types)



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How To Deadhead Perennials

There are many types of flower types on Perennials.  The flower type will determine how you need to deadhead it.

Some Perennials like Daylilies have multiple blooms on a single flower stalk.  In this case you should break or cut off the individual flowers at the base of their stem.  Once all the flowers on the stalk are gone you can cut it off at the base.

Coneflowers, Black-eyed Susan among others have a single flower on a bloom stalk.  You want to cut the stalk to just above a full set of leaves.  The base of the leaf node is where new stalks will develop.  Trim them back far enough so that the cut ends are no visible.

There are some Perennials that either have very tight foliage, or so many blooms that individually deadheading would take a lot of effort.  In this case, you can just give them hair cut and shear the whole plant back.

There are thousands of varieties available for the home garden, which make it possible to have something blooming 6 – 8 months a year.  To make the most of their blooming and reblooming, it is very important to deadhead perennials.  It’s Summer, you’ve got a great garden.  Be grateful and GO DEADHEAD!


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