westland garden health logo

Consumer helpline 01480 443789

10am-4pm, Mon-Fri

How to Deadhead Flowers

Deadheading your flowers helps you to get the most out of your plants. This is because it encourages more flowers to bloom while also tidying up the overall appearance or your plants. If you want to learn how to deadhead flowers, simply read on…

Regular deadheading moves energy into stronger growth and away from wasting the plants’ strength on dying parts of the plant. Therefore it essentially means more new flowers.

To easily deadhead flowers; make sure you are watering your plants adequately to avoid a rubbery and hard to cut stem.


Certain varieties of Geraniums go in and out of bloom, thus it’s important to deadhead these as often as you would for the cutting variety.

For the cutting variety, start at the end of the stem removing the stalk, not just taking off the dead flower, it is also important to remove any yellow leaves to prevent any disease from them spreading to other leaves.

For a variety such as Martha Washington, which are more like groups of flowers. Cut off the section which has browned, as these don’t all fade at the same time.  It’s easiest to do this with scissors. Additionally, it’s vital to keep watering the plant or you will lose potential flowers for later in the season.


Petunias, which are absolutely beautiful when in full bloom, yet tend to fade all too quickly. The the way to deadhead these flowers  is to completely remove the stalk and seed pods. This enables the plant to continue flowering all season long. Thinning the plant back each fortnight also helps flowers to bloom. This not only helps over the side of your container, but also giving the middle part of the plant a new lease of life.


The Rose, a tough shrub yet easy to grow. Without a doubt, the best way to deadhead a rose is to cut right in to the bud. This will form side shoots, therefore producing more flowers. Perhaps you could make potpourri from the petals of the cut roses, or place the full flower heads in a bowl of water for decor.





Azelias and Camellias

Amongst the most important shrubs to deadhead are Azaleas and Camellias. And the best time to do this is just after they bloom, as this will help them to flower and grow out. Using a good sharp pair of secateurs will help with the task, and Kent & Stowe have a variety of secateurs to suit all shrubs.

Feeding your flowers

With an array of plant food products on the market it can be confusing on which one is most suitable for your particular plant. Although there are many varieties available, there are generally three types of how they work.

  1. A fast acting fertiliser for when plants are starting to droop or need a little boost. These are typically in liquid form which can be absorbed by the plant quite quickly. Boost All Purpose Liquid Plant Food has an optimised ratio of high quality nutirents to give you 4 x more blooms*. Simply add to your watering can every time you water for guaranteed success.
  2. A slow release fertiliser is normally applied as a powder such as Westland’s Fish Blood & Bone . This can be applied to fruit bushes by scattering the product on the ground and gently raking it in.
  3. A controlled release fertiliser, and this type is ideal for hanging baskets or containers. They are often available as a granule, and Gro-Sure also offer an All-Purpose 6 Month Feed.

Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium are the main three nutrients most plants need to survive, also known as NPK. Nitrogen helps leaf growth, Phosphorous for root development and Potassium.

It assists with flowering, fruits and general strength. Therefore, depending on what you are feeding, the levels of each will vary between fertilisers.

Before you start planting you should enrich the soil by mixing in a fertiliser, as not only will you be adding nutrients but you will also help with improving the soil structure. This is also known as base dressing. The Gardener’s Soil Conditioner is ideal for revitalising tired soils by boosting nutrient content.


care for your tomato plantsLiquid Feeds

During the growing season your containers, baskets and pots will all thank you for a reviving feed once a week. A liquid fertiliser is best for this. As you can mix and apply directly from the watering can.

If you are growing tomatoes they require a feed every 10 to 14 days once the fruit starts to swell. Westland Big Tom is tomato food enriched with essential nutrients as well as a wetting agent to increase the nutrient uptake. Using a feed such as Big Tom will result in having a fantastic yield of home grown, big and juicy tomatoes.

Alternatively this fertiliser can be used on fruit trees or flowers and you will see an increase in both.





*Bedding plants vs unfed

Related articles

How to collect seeds from plants

How to collect seeds from plants

With flowers beginning to fade and seed heads ripening all around, early autumn is a perfect time to collect seeds from plants in your garden....

Deadheading Plants in Summer for More Blooms

Deadheading Plants in Summer for More Blooms

For dazzling displays of garden flowers that can last through summer and even on into autumn. Keeping on top of removing flowers from plants once...

Make the most of your watering

Make the most of your watering

Why save water? The UK has a reduced amount of water available in comparison to other European countries. Climate change plays a big factor, as...