Deadheading canna


Regularly removing dead flowers from perennials can lengthen the flowering display. In some cases, cutting back after flowering will result in a second flush of flowers. You can try this with most geraniums and Nepeta. Deadhead penstemons by just removing spent flowerheads rather than cutting back the whole plant.

Different plants respond to different pruning methods, and some do best without it. Tools for deadheading include secateurs, snips and shears, depending on which plant you are trimming.

Following are some deadheading tips from our gardening team:


Cut off spent flower stalks

Trim with garden shears

Snip off flowers only

Leave on the plant

How and why?

Cut the flower stem just above the ground after flowering has finished to promote growth of a new rosette

Shear tiny spent flowers near the top of the plant; this may encourage the growth of more flower buds in the plant

Cut the stem just above the first leaf/set of leaves below the spent flower or at the base of the flower stem


Flowers of plants that form attractive seed heads are best left on the plant

Which plants to try it on

  • Aster
  • Bergenia
  • Delphinium
  • Foxglove
  • Hollyhock
  • Iris
  • Penstemon
  • Yarrow
  • Monarda
  • Centranthus
  • Coreopsis
  • Geranium
  • Marguerite daisy
  • Shasta daisy
  • Gaura
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Dahlia
  • Lily
  • Phlox
  • Poppy
  • Rose


  • Cardoon
  • Coreopsis
  • Echium
  • Echinacea
  • Phlomis