Deadheading Innovation

By Charlie Nardozzi

Deadheading roses is a common practice to stimulate new blossoms. The traditional recommendation is to deadhead spent flowers to just above a 5 leaflet leaf on the cane. The assumption is if you don't prune that low on the cane, it will regrow slowly and produce fewer flowers. Not so, says, John Gardiner, curator of the Royal Horticultural Society Rose Garden in England. He says that reflowering will be stimulated as much, if not more, if you deadhead the spent rose just below the flower.

The size of the rose flower is in direct proportion to the amount of foliage and photosynthetic energy of the rose bush. By leaving not only the leaflets along the cane, but also small diameter twigs that normally don't produce flowers, the rose bush produces more basal breaks and faster, healthy regrowth. For more on deadheading roses, go to this article in the Charleston Rose from the Charleston Rose Society. (

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