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Science-based gardening information for Colorado communities from CSU Extension, Denver Botanic Gardens, and Green Industries of Colorado.

1072 – Deadheading – How to and When to?   arrow

Deadheading is the removal of spent blooms to prolong flowering, improve overall plant appearance, and/or to prevent unwanted fruit or seeds.


  • Pinch spent flowers at the base where they meet the stem immediately after blooms fade to encourage prolific color all season.
  • Some annuals that deadheadingrespond well to deadheading are dahlias, geraniums, marigolds and snapdragons.
  • Deadheading can also help annual plants attain a more attractive growth habit.


  • Removal of the spent blooms on perennials allow the plant to increase vigor and store energy for next year’s flush.
  • Perennials such as blanket flower, yarrow and salvia can be encouraged to re-bloom by pinching off spent flowers before they form seed heads.
  • Deadheading also prevents some perennials such as yarrow from self seeding and becoming invasive.

Deadheading is a balance between the attractiveness or value of the seeds and fruit, and season-long blooms. Personal preference is the deciding factor when evaluating the removal of faced flowers.

For more information, see the following Planttalk Colorado™ script(s).

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