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What is Deadheading?

I am a new gardener and confused by the term deadheading.  Do I deadhead everything that blooms in my garden?  How far should I cut back the plants?

Removing faded flowers, called deadheading, can help promote repeat bloom throughout the season.  Some flowers like impatiens are self cleaning, dropping their spent petals and producing new blooms, without any help from you. 

Removing fading flowers of fuchsia and lantana will prevent the plants from going to seed and encourage more blooms.  Some perennials like salvias will put on a longer flower show with the help of deadheading while others like peonies and perennial geranium won't.  Deadheading these plants is done only to produce a tidier look, not more flowers in the garden. 

The type of flower  (spike, panicle, umbel) will influence where you make your cut.  In general remove the stem of faded blooms back to the first set of healthy leaves or nearby flower buds. 

Leggy plants can be cut back further into the leafy stem to encourage fuller growth as well as more flowers.  


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