If you want to grow bushier flower plants with more flowers, then remove the first flower bud or couple of buds and spent blooms. This works well for flowers that tend to grow long and lanky such as zinnias and chrysanthemums.

Removing the first flower bud before the plant blooms will encourage side branches to develop at the leaf intersections; therefore, increasing the bushiness of the plant. In addition, each new side branch will produce more flowers.

Two side branches have grown from a leaf intersection following the removal of the first bud
Two side branches have grown from a leaf intersection following the removal of the first bud
A Purple Prince zinnia that has grown several side branches after the first bud was removed. The second bloom/bud could also be removed to make the plant grow even more side branches and become bushier and stronger. This type of zinnia grows up to 4’ tall, so it can use some gentle pruning/bud removal. Sometimes I also plant these large zinnias in colorful tomato rings for extra support


Also deadhead or remove spent flowers to encourage more flowers and a bushier plant. Deadheading will prolong the amount of time that your flower plants bloom. Deadheading chrysanthemums will provide you with another round or two of blooms. Deadheading roses will ensure that you have continual rose blossoms from late March to the frost.

Deadheading or removing spent chrysanthemum blooms to encourage the production of more buds/flowers. I deadheaded this plant several weeks earlier and it has developed more new buds that will flower soon.
A praying mantis surveys the garden from his perch on a bushy Purple Prince Zinnia.

47 Responses

    1. Thank you for the useful information. I knew about dead heading but didn’t know to remove the first flower bud to encourage more growth!

  1. You can use either one. If the bud is very close to the leaf I pinch, if there is more of a stem I use scissors because I find them easier and I don’t risk pulling the plant.

  2. Gardening is almost like an art. You can’t just leave your plants be, you have to give them proper care and dedication!

  3. Thank you for another great article. We do snip the flowers too. Didn’t know it was called that.

  4. I love flowers but I am not very good at growing them. Maybe the fact that I didn’t know about this and haven’t been doing it have something to do with it! Now I know!

  5. I knew about deadheading, but did not know about removing the first bud. Good stuff, thank you.

  6. All excellent info. I was aware of the dead heading but not the flower removal

  7. Deadheading I think these r beautiful flowers n picture above wish i could grow them

  8. Wow I didn’t know this! We have a miniature rose bush on each side of our garage in front and I would love for them to bloom longer with more blooms I’m going to deadhead them to get more this year!

  9. I do regularly deadhead my flowers, your information is precise and helpful to growing more beautiful flowers

  10. Great advice! I do the same on my tomato plants by cutting of the suckers, and I get a lot more fruit!

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