Deadheading Shrub Roses


Deadheading your rose shrubs can help your roses
produce even more gorgeous rose blooms to last
through the summer,  while also helping fight off
some pests. But you may also find you want to
leave them intact… some great rewards also await!





      Why Should I Deadhead My Rose Shrubs?   


 Deadhead - Roses Rebloom through SummerOne of the simplest, most basic tasks of rose shrub care is deadheading.  While not necessarily essential to the survival of your rose bushes, this simple rose shrub care maintenance can mean bigger blooms  –  and more of them  – with repeat flushing through the season. 


Many shrub roses will continue to produce additional flushes of roses even without deadheading.  But some assist from you can help the new displays be more showy and plentiful. 


Deadheading also serves to ‘clean up’ your rose bush beauty.  Removing the old decaying flower and plant matter will roadblock any pests seeking  such suitable shelter/hiding places and food.  Thrips, cucumber beetles and earwigs, along with sow and pill bugs are particular fans of  fallen, spent rose  blossom petals.  In addition to just making your rose plants look so much better with all the dried matter removed, deadheading  also gives fungal diseases fewer reasons to visit and take residence via a bit of  additional air circulation.


What  is ‘Deadheading’?

Simply, deadheading roses consists of removing/pruning the spent rose blossoms after their glorious showing.  Removing the spent flowers assists the rose bush to redirect energy from fruit production to producing additional flowers to enjoy during the season.  Depending upon the rose shrub variety, blooms may flower on into the fall.

Deadheading helps send a signal to your rose plants that can re-flower, that they are not yet past their ‘prime’…and should continue to produce the glorious rose blossoms instead of seeding out.  Whenever a plant sets seed, it sends a message that the ‘youthful’ flair that flower production entails, is no longer ‘there’…   Removing the dead blossoms gives roses a bit of a ‘face lift’ to our rose beauties, and they go on, (if they are repeat bloomers) encouraged that they still have what it takes to show their best finery instead of settling in to put their energies into seed(fruit) production.

And … If you are a fan of  potpourri and love to make your own, take advantage of the spent petals by collecting the best of them and add them to your current batch or save them up to make a fresh stash!


 Not All Roses are Created to Reflower


Now for a rose bush to rebloom, it must have propensity to do so, of course.  Repeat  rose bloomers can be encouraged to reflower by putting off their nature-given inclination for  producing  fruit — the rose hips.  Roses are actually fruit trees under-cover, enabled to assist species survival with seed-bearing fruit.  Delaying or thwarting this fruit production will allow them to put their strength into producing more of their gorgeous, colorful  ‘seduction mechanisms’, cleverly useful in not only attracting thankful insects for pollination…but  doing double duty in delighting the many senses of  homo sapiens as well! 


 But our beloved one-time bloomers can benefit from deadheading as well with a ‘cleaner look’… and the added protection from pest and disease.  Many rosarians, however, like to allow the hips to develop for other reasons.  Stop deadheading any roses you want to produce hips in mid to late summer.  The remaining swellings situated  near the leaf and stem juncture will produce the coveted hips or rose fruit. 


      Deadheading Rose Bushes Properly – Newest Technique


Simply snip the old buds off close to the top of the cane.   Practice has long been to clip back to the  first three or five leaf set, (which not every rose shrub has) but the newest strategy opts for the first procedure.  Much has been passed along about snipping back to larger areas of the stem to produce larger blooms and finding the ‘true leaves’.  But  the newest methodology, based on more recent trial studies, has established that the important factor in production of more and larger rose blooms –   is the amount of foliage your rose is able to grow. 


This new procedure has established that simply trimming off faded flowers just below the blossom, right above the first leaflet, will encourage repeat blooming more quickly – with more flowers – more often.   This simple technique applies to all large flower roses as well as the cluster-blooming rose types.


 Tools and Technique of Deadheading


* Use sharp, clean pruning shears  and clip at an outward 45-degree angle to assist water run-off, encourage  proper outwardly rose growth direction and an open, air-friendly shape.  Dull pruners can crush and damage your rose canes, inviting pests and disease.


*  Keep a container of diluted bleach handy as you clip when deadheading and pruning, dipping the shears in the bleach solution and wiping off before going on to the next rose shrub.  If there is any disease on any rose plant, clean and wipe before cutting on any other parts of the rose plant.  


*  Check on your roses weekly for needed deadheading. 


*  Stop  deadheading  in the fall,  about one month before your first expected frost, so that new growth is not encouraged as winter approaches. 


       But – Be ‘Hip’ to the Rose Hips!


Some rose lovers want to use the luscious, nutritious hips – or rose fruit –  for healthy recipes, while others like to let them develop for the lovely eye candy they provide to the stark winter scene as well as for providing sustenance for birds and wildlife during the hard, cold winter.


If you are growing your roses for the hips, or fruit, then leave the spent rose blooms intact.  The plant’s energy will be put into producing the fruit instead of the flowers,  and you can harvest them at the end of the season – in the fall.


Rose hips contain many, many nutrients, (some yet undocumented) among them, a healthy dose of Vitamin C.  The birds and wildlife may not understand the special nutrients provided them by the noble rose, but they know a good thing when they taste it!  Some rosarians grow certain rose shrubs specifically  for their proficiency in producing hips. ..which they grow to help the birds survive winter to return in spring to help tend their roses as free pest control!  Efficient, smart, earth-friendly ‘green’ rose gardening, that!  And a winter filled with fun, tasty and healthy Rose Hips recipes and projects for the whole family!


Select from THESE Gorgeous Rose Shrubs to adorn your Rose Garden! 

Radcon Knockout Rose
            ‘Home Run and ‘Radcon’                            Pink Supreme Floral
                                                                      Carpet Rose

                    –  CLICK IMAGES FOR MORE DETAILS! -


Consider THESE Hardy  Rose Bushes for  Winter Beauty after Bloom! 

                         redmeidiland_big    meidiland magic                                     rugosa_rose    hansa                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

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