How to Deadhead Hydrangeas?

How to deadhead hydrangeas - Greenplantpro

If you want your hydrangeas to thrive and look their best, then learning how to deadhead hydrangeas is an essential task. 

Deadheading hydrangeas is the process of removing faded flower heads to promote healthy continued growth and future blooms. 

In this guide, we’ll show you how to deadhead hydrangeas in simple, easy-to-follow steps so that you can maintain their beauty all year round. 

So, let’s dive in.


When should I cut the dead flowers off my hydrangea?

The ideal time to deadhead your hydrangeas is when the blooms begin to turn brown and dry. 

It’s important not to wait too long, as this will reduce the chances of a second bloom later in the season. 

You should cut the stem below the flower head and just above the first set of leaves. 

This will allow for new stems to grow and promote healthy regrowth. 

For reblooming types, you can deadhead again when this second set of blooms starts to fade, but no later than mid-August if you want a second flowering cycle. 

Deadheading earlier than this may inhibit further flowering but can be beneficial for controlling size if necessary.


What Deadheading Does for Hydrangeas

Deadheading hydrangea is a process where you trim off the spent blooms and can be an important part of keeping these beautiful plants looking their best. 

This is especially true for shrub-form hydrangeas, as well as any varieties that are known to produce dead flowers on their stems. 

Deadheading helps the plant to focus its energy on root and leaf growth instead of producing seeds and flowers. 

When deadheading your hydrangeas, it’s important to look for the seed pods that have formed just below the petals and remove them gently with pruners or scissors. 

Removing these will help prevent the plant from wasting its energy attempting to produce more seed pods. 

It’s also a good idea to remove any broken or browning stems while deadheading your hydrangeas. 

This will help ensure they don’t become damaged by pests or diseases later in the season. 

Keep in mind that some of the most popular varieties of reblooming hydrangeas require regular deadheading in order to continue flowering throughout the season. 

Deadheading also helps prevent your hydrangea from becoming overgrown and leggy. 

Trimming off the spent blooms encourages new growth, which can lead to fuller plants with healthy foliage. 

Additionally, flower buds may even appear at different times than they normally would if they were left untouched. 

Finally, it’s important to remember that deadheading won’t necessarily cause your hydrangea plants to bloom again (except with certain varieties of reblooming hydrangeas). 

It does help keep them looking neat and tidy as well as provide them with an opportunity for continued growth throughout the season. 

So make sure you don’t forget this important task when caring for your hydrangeas.


How to deadhead hydrangeas?


Step 1: Assess the Hydrangea Plant

Inspect the hydrangea plant and determine if it needs deadheading. 

Look for flowers that have already wilted or faded, and any flower heads that have become discolored or dried out. 

Depending on the variety of hydrangea, some plants may not require deadheading. 


Step 2: Cut off wilted heads

Use a pair of sharp shears or pruning scissors to cut away the wilted blossoms from the stem at their base. 

Be sure to make a clean cut so as not to leave ragged edges that could potentially attract disease or pests. 

Make sure not to damage any healthy buds when you’re cutting off the deadheads.


Step 3: Get Rid of Spent Flower Clusters 

After removing all of the wilted heads, remove any spent flower clusters, which are groups of multiple flower heads situated along one stem. 

Clip them off at their base while taking care not to damage adjacent shoots or healthy buds with your shears or scissors. 

This will also encourage new blooms during the next flowering season.


Step 4: Prune Unruly Branches and Foliage

If there are unruly branches growing out of bounds, now is the time to prune them back using sharp pruning shears. 

Make a clean cut to avoid leaving jagged edges that could invite infection or insect infestation into your plant. 

Also, assess your plant’s foliage and trim any foliage that has grown too long and is blocking sunlight from reaching other parts of the plant, affecting its overall health and growth habits moving forward. 


Step 5: Dispose of the deadhead debris properly 

To reduce the risk of pest infestation and disease spread, promptly dispose of all deadhead debris in an appropriate manner. 

Ideally, by burning it if possible, or by putting it in a sealed container before disposing of it in an outdoor trash bin where animals can’t get access to it easily (and where it won’t blow away).



Now that you have learned about the basics of how to deadhead hydrangeas, it is time to get out there and give it a try. 

This simple practice can make a huge difference in the health and overall appearance of your hydrangeas, so don’t be scared to give it a shot. 

With some patience and practice, you will master this artful skill in no time. 

And don’t forget: buy yourself another pair of gardening gloves, you’ll thank me later. 

Remember, if at first, you don’t succeed try again. If ever you are stumped or need more advice then do not hesitate to do more research or contact an expert in the field. 

When it comes to something like deadheading your beloved blooms, knowledge is power.

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