Should You Always Cut Back Your Daisies in the Fall?

Pruning and deadheading have established themselves as safe, easy-to-do, and effective practices that have seen remarkable favor among gardeners and plant growers. You may have heard about the importance of pruning and deadheading when it comes to daisies, but do you really have to cut back your daisies every fall?

You should cut back your daisies every fall after they are done blooming and turn yellow. Cutting them back at this time is important because it quickly removes the decaying flowerheads, encourages new growth, and sets your daisies up to thrive the following year.

In this article, I’ll discuss the benefits of cutting back your daisies and tell you why fall is the ideal time to cut back your daisies. I will also give you step-by-step instructions on how to perform the act.

Reasons to Deadhead or Prune Your Daisies

Daisies are perennials that start blooming in early summer. They then bloom healthily throughout summer and typically stop by early fall. This is the ideal time to cut back your daisies.


There are several benefits to cutting back or pruning your daisies at this time. Before we begin to explore these benefits, let me quickly go over the essential difference between deadheading and pruning to bring everyone up to speed.

When you deadhead flowers, you remove (or at least the intention is) just the flowerhead off the plant. Conversely, when you prune a plant, you typically cut off a sizable part of the stem as well.

I guess you could consider deadheading to be minimalistic pruning. As you can see, the two are quite similar – but they do have some distinct roles, one of which I’ll be mentioning later in this article.

Anyways, let’s continue with the benefits of cutting back your daisies in the fall:

Keeps Your Garden Neat and Tidy

To start with the obvious, the flowerheads of the daisies are dying at this point. They no longer showcase their full beauty and are yellowing and withering. Of course, this gives them an unsightly appearance.

Cutting back your daisies now will keep your garden looking fresh and tidy.

Your Daisies Will Grow Instead of Seeding

This is the most important reason why you should cut back your daisies after they’re done blooming – it promotes growth. Even in early fall, when the daisy’s flowerhead is blackening and dying off, the daisy is expending energy, nutrients, and resources to produce seeds.

By pruning the daisy, you ensure that the plant doesn’t waste its resources on forming new seeds. These vital resources are instead directed towards improving overall plant health and fueling growth for the coming year.

Additionally, cutting back your daisies gives them a head start on growth. They start growing for the coming seasons during the time they would have otherwise allocated to seed production.

In the absence of environmental damage, your daisies might bloom at a slightly earlier time the following summer.

Prevents Overgrowth

Daisies are infamous for the fact that they can be found almost anywhere in the world (other than the poles). One of the reasons that they thrive in the wild is that they multiply rapidly.

Daisies are often considered weeds because they can infest an unchecked area quickly. 

As a gardener, you likely don’t want your daisies to grow out of control and infest your lawn (which they very well can if you let them).

So unless you want to have lots of daisies all over the place, pruning them before they become seed-bearing and securing the seeds for controlled, intentional use is the way to go.

How to Cut Back Your Daisies

Let’s get into the actual practice – how do you cut back your daisies safely?

The good news is, it’s simple and easy. However, it might start to feel like a chore once you get into it.

There’s not much that can go wrong when pruning daisies; even the most unhandy gardeners should be able to do it without too much of a problem.

First of all, you need the right tool. Expert gardeners recommend using pruning shears. Daisy stems are fragile. So while the job can be done with a regular knife (it needs to be sharp, though!), pruning shears will give you a cleaner cut and save you precious time.

The cleaner cut leaves less of the inner stem exposed, decreasing the chance of environmental damage and disease. And the saved time becomes increasingly important as you have more daisies to prune.

Hold the upper part of the daisy firmly to provide support, and cut the daisy stem at about 2 inches (5.08 cm) above the soil line. You’ll have to do this for every daisy, which can be a little tedious.

This annual pruning is important and, as discussed, offers many benefits, so it’s a good idea to take some time out of your schedule to carry it out.

Cutting the stems at an angle is a best practice, with the ideal cut angle being 45 degrees. This is done to prevent water droplets from stagnating on the exposed stem.

If water droplets were to stagnate on top of and be absorbed by an exposed stem, it would likely cause severe damage. In worst cases, the stem would start rotting.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Pruning Daisies

Daisies are hardy and good at surviving on their own. One of the reasons they’re so popular with gardeners is their low maintenance.

So what would happen if you missed an annual prune? Well, nothing drastic, but you’d be missing out on the benefits mentioned above.

Your daisies will remain an unsightly spectacle in your garden until the dead flower heads and stem decay away naturally. They’ll also prioritize utilizing energy and nutrient resources on seed-bearing over health and growth.

If you let their reproductive cycle complete and the seeds are deposited across your lawn in about two years, you’ll have many more daisy flowers to deal with.

That said, there’s one benefit to delaying the annual pruning. Instead of cutting the stems down to 2 inches (5.08 cm) in the fall, you have the option of only deadheading the decaying flowerheads and leaving the rest of the stem standing until winter. The stems will provide additional protection against the winter frost

You can cut down the daisies to 2 inches (5.08 cm) above the soil after winter has passed.

Deadheading Can and Should Be Performed During the Growth Season

One last important point I should mention is regarding deadheading. For daisies, while pruning to 2 inches (5.08 cm) above the soil line is done annually, deadheading is a constant process that you should carry out during the growth and even the blooming phase.

Deadheading yellowed, damaged, and blackened flowerheads throughout the growth phase allows the plant to focus resources on creating a new flowerhead.

Deadheading, when the daisy is blooming, comes into play when the first set of flower heads starts to wither, typically before fall. By deadheading this set of flowerheads, the next set will continue to bloom until early fall, for a total of two blooms in the same blooming season.

This is one of the most effective ways to extend your daisies’ blooming duration and is a practice all gardening experts recommend.

When deadheading, you only need to cut back the daisy to the nearest flower bud. Do not cut below the highest flower bud, as you’ll delay the subsequent bloom.

If you’re still confused about the key difference between pruning and deadheading, just keep this in mind:

  • For daisies, deadheading is carried out as required during the growth and blooming phases. 
  • Pruning, ideally to 2 inches (5.08 cm) above the soil, is typically done once a year, either in the fall (when the daisy flower heads start dying) or after winter, when the danger of winter frost has passed.

Final Thoughts

Cutting back your daisies during fall is a beneficial practice. It helps keep your garden clean by removing the decaying flowerheads from sight. It also refocuses the energy and nutrient resources of the daisy onto health and growth rather than seed-bearing, ultimately preventing uncontrolled overgrowth.

You should cut your daisies down to 2 inches (5.08 cm) above the topsoil once they are done blooming in the fall. Alternatively, you can wait until after winter has passed to cut them down to the same level.

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the founder of and its lead content writer. He created the website in 2022 as a resource for horticulture lovers and beginners alike, compiling all the gardening tips he discovered over the years. Alex has a passion for caring for plants, turning backyards into feel-good places, and sharing his knowledge with the rest of the world.

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