Flowering Plant Cycle: What Is A Flowering Flush?

Image by Daniel Ramirez

By Heather Rhoades

Occasionally, the horticultural industry uses terms on instructions that can confuse the average gardener. Flowering flush is one of those terms. This is not a commonly used phrase outside of the industry, but once you know what it is, it makes perfect sense. Keep reading to find our more about the flushing of flowers.

Flushing During Flowering

Flushing during flowering refers to a point in the flowering plant cycle where a plant is in full bloom. A plant’s flowering will typically have a predictable pattern. Many types of flowering plants will have all of their blossoms open at the same time and afterwards will have one or only a few blossoms open sporadically throughout the season. The period, when all of the blossoms are open, is called a flowering flush.

Taking Advantage of the Flowering Plant Cycle

With almost any plant that experiences a flushing during flowering, you can encourage a second flush of flowers by using a technique called deadheading. When different types of flowering plants have finished their flush and the blossoms have died, snip off the spent blooms immediately after the flush of flowers. You should cut back about one-third of the plant when deadheading. This should coax the plant’s flowering a second time.


Another way to encourage a second flush of flowers is through pinching. This method creates more compact or bushy growth with continual flowering. Simply pinch off the last bud on a stem or one-third of the plant.

Pruning flowering shrubs just after bloom can also increase another flush of flowers.

Many types of flowering plants have a flush. A flowering flush is really no more than a fancy way of talking about a phase in the flowering plant cycle.

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