How to Deadhead a Snapdragon


Deadheading is the process of removing fading and dead flowers from a plant. It serves several purposes, the most important of which is that it keeps the plant from going to seed, thus prolonging the blooming period. Deadheading also keeps the plant looking good and the garden looking tidy. Some plants, such as pansies, require just a pinch to remove the flowers. Others, such as snapdragons, require the use of sharp scissors or pruning shears to remove the flower stalk. Deadhead your snapdragons to remove dead flowers throughout the growing season and again at the end of the growing season.

Step 1

Pour 1/2 cup of Lysol disinfectant into the bucket. Add 2 cups of water. Don't use a household bleach solution as studies have shown that bleach causes rust on pruning equipment, according to two studies at the University of California and Washington State University. Take the solution to the garden.

Step 2

Cut fading and dead snapdragon flower stalks between the lowest seed head and the leaf right below it, on each stem. Make the cut just above the leaf. Continue to cut in this manner until all of the dead/faded snapdragons have been removed.

Step 3

Dip the scissors or shears into the disinfectant solution between each cut.

Step 4

Rake the flower bed free of all deadheading debris. Water the snapdragons as you normally do and lay down a 2-inch layer of mulch on the soil around the plants.

Things You'll Need

  • Lysol disinfectant
  • Measuring cup
  • Bucket
  • Scissors or pruning shears
  • Rake
  • Garbage bag
  • Mulch


  • North Carolina Cooperative Extensionm: Deadheading
  • Washington State University: Sterilized Pruning Tools: Nuisance or Necessity?
  • University of California: How disinfectants compare in preventing transmission of fire blight
  • ‭"‬California Master Gardener Handbook";‭ ‬Dennis R.‭ ‬Pittenger‭; ‬2002
Keywords: deadhead snapdragons, prune snapdragons, trim snapdragons

About this Author

Victoria Hunter has been a freelance writer since 2005, specializing in gardening-related topics and the real estate industry. She is a former broadcaster and real estate agent who has provided audio and written services to small businesses and large corporations worldwide. She writes for, GardenGuides and ProFlowers, among others. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing.