How to deadhead roses – for more flowers in a matter of weeks

Learn how to deadhead roses to keep them looking at their best for longer

How do deadhead roses with rose flower bed
(Image credit: Pippa Blenkinsop)

Deadheading roses is very easy and is important to do to get the most out of your rose bushes. Deadheading is simply a term for the removal of finished flower heads. Deadheading not only neatens up the appearance of the rose but, with repeat flowering varieties, it encourages further blooms throughout the season. 

If faded flowers are left on the plant it can delay the production of new shoots below the old flower cluster, so removing them will speed up nature’s process. 

See: How to plant roses – the essential guide

How do deadhead roses with rose flower bed

(Image credit: Leigh Clapp)

How to deadhead roses

To deadhead roses you will need a pair of gardening gloves and some good secateurs or deadheading snips. 

Deadheading can be done in two stages:

Stage 1

As the individual blooms in a cluster fade these can simply be snapped off by hand directly beneath the flowerhead. 

Removing these individually as they go over will maintain the display and will give back buds more room to bloom.

See: Rose garden ideas – for a colorful and sweetly scented outdoor space

How do deadhead roses with rose flower bed

(Image credit: Future)

Stage 2

When all the flowers on a cluster have gone over then the whole truss can be removed. Trace the stem back to the first leaf joint, and using secateurs, snip off the cluster just above this point. This will also improve the overall shape of the rose. 

How do deadhead roses with rose flower bed

(Image credit: Leigh Clapp)

See: How to take rose cuttings – tips for propagating roses

If your rose is a hip-producing rose then you may not want to deadhead the blooms, as hips can bring decorative interest and color to the autumn garden. Deadheading finished blooms on hip-producing roses will prevent the hips from forming.

Pippa is Content Editor on Homes & Gardens online contributing to Period Living and Country Homes & Interiors print issues. A graduate of Art History and formerly Style Editor at Period Living, she is passionate about architecture, creating decorating content, interior styling and writing about craft and historic homes. She enjoys searching out beautiful images and the latest trends to share with the Homes & Gardens audience. A keen gardener, when she’s not writing you’ll find her growing flowers on her village allotment for styling projects.