Monty Don reveals the secret to dead-heading your roses for beautiful new blooms

Follow the gardening expert's top tips to maintaining stunning roses

rose garden with arches and bench
(Image credit: Getty / Rosemarie Wirz)

It's a good idea to dead-head your roses regularly to ensure they continue to grow lovely flowers. If you're unsure of how best to do it, BBC Gardener's World host Monty Don has shared a key piece of gardening wisdom.

Writing on his blog, he reveals how to best encourage reflowering so we can stop and smell the roses for as long as possible.

monty don

(Image credit: Alamy)

Monty Don's dead-heading roses tip

'Just pulling off the old flower heads will help but by far the best approach is to use a pair of secateurs and to cut back to the first leaf below the spent flower,' says Monty Don. 'A new shoot will then grow from this point.'

English roses breeders David Austin Roses suggest a different technique, whereby you pinch or cut off the finished flower, just below where the base of the flower joins the stem.

We think secateurs are likely to give you a cleaner cut than using your hands. For the best secateurs for the job, take a look at our guide. As for how far down to go, we're with Monty.

pink roses

(Image credit: Getty / Rosemary Calvert)

'When you dead-head you are effectively pruning and thus stimulating fresh side shoots which will bear new flower buds and therefore extend the flowering season,' Monty Don continues.

He also explains that by removing fading, brown flowers, you prevent the plant from developing seed. Plants use a lot of nutrients and water in order to make seeds, so dead-heading stops it and means the plant is more likely to flower again.

As for how often you should be dead-heading roses, Monty Don recommends doing it daily in midsummer, if you can. If this isn't possible, once a week will help to encourage reflowering.

roses in garden with outdoor table and chairs

(Image credit: Getty / Pierre Longnus)

Dead-heading of course has the added benefit of making our roses look better, removing any distracting flowers that have had their day.

For more on caring for your roses, pruning, and advice on which roses to grow next, read our how to plant a rose garden guide. Plus, if you're relatively new to gardening, our gardening for beginners piece goes through the basics.

Roses are a must in any garden - just remember to keep dead-heading them so you can enjoy the heady scent and beautiful classic English blooms for longer.

Millie Hurst

Millie joined Real Homes in January 2021 as a homes news writer. When she isn't writing about trends, makeovers and houseplant care, she spends her free time making tweaks to her rented flat in North London. Her next project is a very basic armchair reupholstering job to help create a cosy reading nook in her living room. She loves browsing antique centres, tending to her small front garden, and is never without some fresh flowers at home.