How to Trim Dead Blooms From a Rose Bush


There is nothing quite as breathtaking as a rose in full bloom. However, once the fragrant blossoms have begun to fade, it is best to remove them. This process, commonly known as "deadheading," helps the plant conserve energy by preventing seed formation. Deadheading encourages your bush to produce more flowers in its next growing cycle.

Step 1

Choose a pair of durable gardening gloves to protect your hands from thorns as you work. If possible, select a pair that also covers your forearms. If not, wear a long-sleeved shirt made of sturdy fabric. When choosing your pruning shears, select a standard pair with blades on both sides rather than the anvil type, as the anvil-shaped blades bruise the bark rather than cut the branch.

Step 2

Visually inspect the rosebush. Look for dead blossoms and blooms that are beginning to fade. Also make note of any foliage that is discolored, with yellowing leaves or black, as these could be signs of a fungal infection. Cut off this unhealthy plant growth before it has a chance to spread.

Step 3

Remove the dead blooms and damaged or diseased growth. Follow the stem of each faded flower down to the first collection of five or more leaves. Just above these leaflets is a small bump from which new plant growth will emerge. Place your pruning shears just above this bump. Holding the shears at a 45-degree angle, cut the branch from the bush. Repeat until all dead flowers and unhealthy growth have been removed.

Step 4

Seal the newly trimmed stems to help them heal and protect them from invasion by pests. Dab a bit of non-toxic white glue over each cut and allow it to dry. It will temporarily seal the incision, washing away gradually and giving the bush time to recover.

Step 5

Clear away any debris and place it in a trash receptacle. Do not add rose trimmings to the compost bin as they carry seeds, insects and fungal spores that could be spread to other plants through the compost.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Pruning shears
  • Non-toxic white glue


  • Deadheading Roses
  • Rose Care
  • Pruning and Deadheading Roses
Keywords: prune roses, deadhead roses, remove dead roses

About this Author

Lisa Parris is a freelance writer covering a variety of topics, particularly health and wellness. Her work has appeared in various publications including the "Journal of Comparative Parasitology" and "The Monterey County Herald." She holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Peru State College.