The Q&A Archives: Deadheading Roses

Question: Where is the correct place to cut or how far back do you trim a spent rose bloom?

Answer: The procedure for deadheading newly planted roses differs from established roses. On a recently planted rose, it is usually recommended that the faded flower be removed above the uppermost 3-leaflet leaf. Removal of a large amount of foliage reduces the rose's food manufacturing capacity and weakens the young plant. When deadheading established roses, the stem may be cut back to a 5-leaflet leaf. Retain at least two 5-leaflet leaves on each shoot. Use sharp tools (hand shears or a knife) to remove faded flowers.

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