Remove First Buds and Spent Blooms for Bushier Flower Plants with more Blossoms

A picture of a first bud on a zinnia plant.
Removing the first bud on a zinnia will make the plant develop more side branches and flowers.

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.
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2 Responses

  1. Terracotta Composting 50-Plant Garden Tower by Garden Tower Project
  2. 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.

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