What Is Disbudding – Is Disbudding Flowers Necessary

Blooming Pink Flower
(Image credit: BethAmber)

Creating a flower garden is an excellent way to add beauty to outdoor green spaces. Though many growers are eager for plants to produce as many flowers as possible, others may have a very different objective. Focusing on the growth of large and impressive blooms can be a unique way to add an element of fun and excitement to the flower patch, or to simply impress friends.

Learning more about disbudding and pinching can help gardeners better understand the growth process of various flowering plants.

What is Disbudding?

Foremost, growers will need a firm understanding of terminology. Disbudding flowers is a type of pruning. It isn't necessary but done only for specific reasons-- to attain larger blooms. Those who choose to disbud a plant are essentially selecting which flowers will be allowed to bloom and which will not.

Each flowering stem should have one large terminal bud and several smaller side buds. The process of removing flower buds is done on each stem, leaving only the largest terminal bud to open. By removing the younger flower buds, growers are able to encourage plant energy to develop the best bloom possible, rather than several smaller sized flowers.

Though often confusing, it is important to note that deadheading, disbudding, and pinching are different. Deadheading occurs after each flower has opened and started to fade. Generally, this helps to maintain a neat and tidy appearance of flowering plants. The process of pinching plants helps to promote new growth through the removal of stem tips.

Neither disbudding nor pinching flowers is necessary for a beautiful display in the home garden. However, many choose to do so when growing various types of plants for show in contests and exhibitions. Learning to disbud a plant may also be valuable for those who wish to grow their own cut-flower garden.

Disbudding flowers, such as chrysanthemums, allow growers to harvest large cut-flower blooms for use in vases or for sale to florists. Experimenting with disbudding in the garden can yield interesting results. From dahlias to roses, growing flowers by disbudding may just make your garden the envy of the neighborhood.

Tonya Barnett

Tonya Barnett has been gardening for 13 years. Flowers are her passion. She has trasformed her backyard into a cut flower garden, which she regularly chronicles on her YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/@tonyawiththeflowers.