Gardening Basics

Flowers That Need Deadheading

Learn which plants need to have their flowers removed to keep producing beautiful blooms.

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Orange Gerbera Daisies

Deadheading Q and A

Q. Do I have to cut back my African daisies to get more blooms? Will this work with Wave petunias?

A. You can often prolong bloom by removing spent flowers, but that's not true for all flowering plants. When a flower remains on a plant, the plant's energy is diverted into producing seed, rather than more flowers. Deadheading (removing the spent flower by pinching off or cutting back) is a must for many annuals but not all. With perennials, which generally have a shorter bloom period, deadheading usually isn't necessary but is used just to keep the plant looking tidy.

As to your question, African daisies absolutely have to be deadheaded or you'll soon be running out of new flowers. With Wave petunias, however, and many of the newer types of petunias, no deadheading is necessary; the plant keeps producing flowers whether or not the old ones are removed.

Plants That Need Deadheading

daisies
daylilies
dianthus
coreopsis
cosmos
marigolds
geraniums
Nemesia
pansies
petunias (species and older varieties)
roses
zinnias

Plants That Don't Need Deadheading

angelonia
celosia (plume and wheat types)
clematis
Crocosmia
lantana
melampodium
rudbeckia
verbena (groundcover types)
vinca
Wave petunias and other new petunia varieties

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