The Q&A Archives: spent blooms

Question: To encourage bloom, I understand, it is a good idea to pinch the dead bloom off. Where do you pinch? Right under the spent bloom or at the base of the stem?

Answer: This depends on what kind of plant you are trying to deadhead. Usually, though, you would cut just above a leaf or branch. On some plants, this means going to the base of the stem. If you examine the plant, you may be able to tell where the next surge of growth will start or possibly even see new flower buds -- cut just above that. On some flowers such as a petunia or a lily, you would take the whole flower plus a short bit of stem. On others, such as snapdragon or buddleia, you would cut just above the next set of buds. On a rose, you could cut just above a leaf. When you remove the flower, make sure to take the entire flower including the bulge at its base, not just the petals.

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