Deadheading Roses

Pruning in summer usually means deadheading roses, together with some maintenance work

Hundreds of garden-advisor websites suggest removing the faded flowers to encourage more blooms to grow and to keep the plants clean and neat.

It can be as easy as it sounds when gardener pay attention to the fact that there are various kind of roses and to treat them different.

Why Deadheading Roses

Many people still ask me why they should invest so much work to deadhead roses. Why not let them grow in their natural way.

Well, the natural way is that roses generate blooms to attract pollinators to help the plants create seeds. After pollination the flower withers, causing the plant to put more energy into developing seeds.

For roses, hips will develop and the plant will not have much energy left to form a new sea off blossoms.

Cutting off spent flowers, makes the plant start over and flourish again.

If you don’t remove the welt flowers, the dead petals will fall to the ground. You have to dispose them immediately; otherwise Gray Mold (Botrytis) can occur.

Removing the withered flowers on a regular basis, together with cutting off the droughty shoots will keep the plant healthy and tidy. 


Always use sharp and sterilized rose pruning shears to avoid infections and damaged roses.

Different Roses Different Deadheading

As I said at the beginning, we have to pay attention to the fact of various kinds of roses.

Hybrid Tea Roses

These roses usually form one blossom on each stem.

Remove the nearly faded or faded flowers together with two fully developed 5-leaflet leaves. Don’t count a not fully developed five leaf-set.

Prune the plant ¼ inch above the third five leaf-set at a 45-degree facing outward from the bud eye. This way you may be certain of fully developed bud eyes, which will form new strong shoots with many blooms.

For those roses that form 2-3 blossom or those pruned after the first flowering and produce side shoots, it is necessary to cut the whole shoot including the side shoots. Prune the plant ¼ inch above the first five leaf-set below the last side shoot.

I found this very useful video from San Jose Rose Garden.

Floribunda-, Grandiflora- and Miniature Roses

Prune the umbels and dispose them when 2/3 of the single flowers are withered. I use the remaining sound flowers as room decoration.

Cut the flower umbel above the first leaf-set under the umbel. Don’t cut single flowers in the umbel up front; it will prevent new flower umbels from growing fast.

Have a look at thr second part of the video. Pretty clear explanation from San Jose Roses Garden.

One time flowering and Climbing Roses

Roses that bloom once a year do not necessarily need deadheading. Anyway, they should be cut back at the end of their flowering time (End of August or early September).

Doing this, the young shoots will find more space and light to mature; their resistance against mildew will improve. Read more about pruning of climbers, one time flowering roses in the chapter about pruning climbing roses.

Often Blooming Shrub Roses

Only by removing the withered flowers, shrub roses will bloom more often. Cut the nearly faded or already faded flowers together with two fully developed five leaflet leaves above the third five leaf-set, as I described it above with the hybrid tea roses.

On cluster flowered roses it is worth to cut each single withered bloom inside the cluster.

Remove the whole cluster of blooms, after all of them withered, above the first bud eye below the last fork.


Deadheading roses makes your plants look better and gives your garden a tidy and well-kept look.

Sometimes it may not be obvious where to cut the flowers. In that case and before you cut too much of the plant, do the cut below the blossom but above the first five leaf-set with a strong and healthy bud eye.


Always dispose the petals and pruned flowers to avoid Botrytis.

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