Friday, 19 July 2013

Dead Heading and Spent Blooming

Good afternoon everybody, by far and away the most common question we get asked at this time of year is "why don't you dead head any of your Roses?" The answer to this is that we do dead head however but not always in the traditional manner. Below we have Kat demonstrating the techniques we employ here at Mottisfont.

Here we have Kat dead heading in the traditional way, by cutting off the finished flowers with a well sharpened pair of secateurs. We use this method on the repeat flowering and continuous flowering varieties  as by removing the old flowers completely you are encouraging the plant to produce a good crop of secondary blooms.

Above Kat is demonstrating the technique of 'spent blooming' or 'dusting off', I'm pretty sure people will have different names for this process depending on where you are but this is what we call it. This technique is used on the once flowering varieties of roses and idea behind this is that you simply dust off the dead or finished petals  leaving behind the core of the flower so that they will ripen into Heps in the autumn. As the vast majority of the roses here at Mottisfont are once flowering this is the method that we use the most. 

Most people forget that roses will produce Heps and as a result all the finished flowers are cut off, but in some cases the Heps are almost as impressive as the flowers and you can have quite a beautiful display. The important thing is to know your roses and know that these wonderful plants are so much more tan just pretty flowers.   

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend and long may the sunshine continue  :-)  


  1. I love this blog so much, thank you. You mention rose "heps" - I assumed this was a typo for "hips" but Wikipedia (font of all knowledge!) says they are also known as "heps" - is this a regional dialect?

  2. Hi Claire

    Firstly thank you for you kind comment, I'm glad you enjoy reading it. To be honest I never know if people are at all interested in the stuff that I write about or if anyone actually reads it, so thanks once again you've made my day!

    As for 'heps' or 'hips' I believe (but don't quote me on it) that heps is the traditional spelling and is pronounced as it is spelt. You will often find that specialists use this term.

    Hips is just a modern form of the word and to be honest is the more common and widespread term that people use. They both mean the same thing and both spellings and pronunciations are acceptable to use.

    I hope this helps :-)

    1. Thanks Jonny, sorry to take almost a month to reply, I forgot to check back! That's helpful, I might start using the term "heps" to try to convince people I'm an expert ;)

      You are absolutely writing the right stuff, it's great!

  3. Thanks for the post. You should take part in a contest for one of the best blogs on the web. I will recommend this site!
    Blooming Flowers