How To Deadhead Canna Lilies

How To Deadhead Canna Lilies

Deadheading canna lilies is a beneficial practice that improves their appearance and promotes more blooms. Deadheading involves removing spent blooms or entire flowering stems to redirect energy and prevent self-seeding. It’s best to deadhead regularly when you notice fading and wilting flowers.

Depending on the canna cultivar, deadheading can be done throughout the summer season, and it may need to be done year-round in warm regions with mild winters. Use sterilized pruning shears to snip off individual spent blooms or cut back entire spiking sections of the stem just above new foliage growth. Damaged or unhealthy-looking stems should be cut back close to the ground. Deadheaded blooms and stems can be added to compost piles, used as mulch, or disposed of in garden waste bins.

Deadheading canna lilies helps maintain their attractiveness, redirects energy for healthy growth, and extends the bloom season. Remember to avoid cutting back the foliage entirely until the end of the growing season and use scissors or shears for deadheading, rather than pinching with fingers.

Should You Deadhead Canna Lilies?

The practice of deadheading canna lilies is a topic that divides gardeners. Some believe that deadheading is unnecessary and can kill future blooms, while others swear by deadheading to encourage more blossoms.

Deadheading canna lilies is beneficial for:

  • Promoting more blooms
  • Prolonging the bloom period
  • Maintaining a neat appearance in your garden

The main reason behind deadheading is preventing the setting of seeds. When canna lilies produce seeds, they use valuable energy that could be better utilized for producing more flowers. Whether you need to deadhead your canna lilies depends on whether they produce seed pods or are sterile. Observing the presence or absence of seed pods will help determine the necessity of deadheading.

When deadheading, follow these steps:

  1. Carefully remove fading flowers
  2. Leave the new buds intact for future bloom

Removing buds or entire stalks by accident is not a problem, as canna lilies will quickly grow new stalks and flowers. Deadheading canna lilies is an effective way to encourage more blooms, prolong the blooming period, and maintain a neat appearance in your garden.

deadheading canna lilies

How To Properly Deadhead Canna Lilies

Deadheading canna lilies is an essential task that requires the right tools and techniques to ensure the plants thrive. Follow these steps to properly deadhead your canna lilies:

  1. Prepare the necessary tools: To deadhead canna lilies, you will need sterilized pruning shears or sharp scissors, a sanitizing solution to disinfect the blades, hot water for rinsing the blades, and gloves for hand protection.
  2. Observe the plant: Regularly inspect your canna lilies for fading flowers. Deadheading is most effective when you remove spent blooms promptly.
  3. Cut off the leaves: Start the deadheading process by cutting off the leaves underneath the flower. This helps to redirect energy and nutrients to new growth.
  4. Determine the cutting point: Identify the cutting point, which is about ¼ inch above the bud. This ensures that you remove the spent flowers without damaging the rhizomes or new growth.
  5. Remove spent flowers: Carefully snip off the spent flowers at the determined cutting point. Be sure to dispose of the removed flowers properly.
  6. Remove damaged or broken stems: Inspect the canna lilies for any damaged or broken stems. If you find any, cut them back close to the ground to encourage new, healthy growth.
  7. Clean up: After deadheading, make sure to clean up all the spent flowers and stalks. This helps maintain a neat and tidy appearance in your garden.
  8. Fertilize the plants: To promote new growth and continuous blooms, fertilize your canna lilies after deadheading. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer package for the appropriate application.

Properly deadheading canna lilies enhances their appearance, prevents seed production, and contributes to a neat and tidy garden. Remember to use the right tools, follow the recommended steps, and enjoy the improved health and beauty of your canna lilies.


Deadheading canna lilies is a simple but effective practice that can greatly enhance the beauty and longevity of your garden blooms. By removing spent flowers, you can promote more blooms and extend the blooming period of your canna lilies. This not only improves the appearance of the plants but also creates a vibrant and colorful display that will brighten up your outdoor space.

Using sterilized pruning shears or scissors, carefully observe your canna lilies for fading flowers. Cut off the leaves beneath the flowers and determine the cutting point just above the bud, about ¼ inch away. Be sure to remove spent flowers without damaging the rhizomes and cut any damaged or broken stems. Keeping your garden clean by collecting deadheaded flowers and stalks also contributes to the overall health and growth of your canna lilies.

Remember to fertilize your canna lilies after deadheading to provide them with the nutrients they need for continuous blooming. By following these proper deadheading techniques, you can encourage your canna lilies to produce more vibrant blooms, improve their appearance, and enjoy a prolonged blooming period throughout the summer.

Can Deadheading Canna Lilies Help Their Winter Care?

Deadheading canna lilies can actually help with their winter care. By removing spent flowers, you can prevent the plant from wasting energy on seed production and instead focus on storing energy for the winter. This maintenance practice is essential for promoting the overall winter care for burning bush.

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