It can be a challenge to keep houseplants neat and tidy. There are spent flowers to remove, brown tips on the ends of the leaves to clean up and dying leaves that need to be cut off.
You can try to do these tasks with a regular pair of scissors but sometimes the scissors are just to big and bulky to reach into the plant and cut out what you want to remove.
But there’s one tool that I think every houseplant grower should have – a dead head snip. This small tool has very sharp, pointed blades that allow you to reach into the plant and cut with absolute precision.
I’ve been using a dead head snip for years. As the name implies, its primary purpose is to “dead head” plants – all that means is to remove old flowers. I haven’t used it in the outdoor garden but I can see how it would be great for dead heading plants. The finger loop and spring action would make it easy to go from one plant to another while deadheading.
I use the snip primarily in the house. It’s the best for removing old african violet blossoms and trimming small, soft stems.
The other way I use it is for thinning seedlings. If there are two or three seedlings growing in a pot or Jiffy 7, if I pull out the unwanted plants, it’s likely that I’ll either damage the roots of the plant I want to keep or even pull it out of the soil along with the unwanted plants. But the dead head snip solves this problem. I can reach right to the soil level and cut out the plants that I don’t want without any damage to the plant that I’m keeping.
I wasn’t sure were you could get this snip – mine was given to me at a flower shop. But I looked closely at mine and saw the name Fiskars on it. Fiskars makes lots of scissors and pruners and a quick check on their website showed that the dead head snip is readily available. Type in “dead head snip” on any search engine and you’ll find lots of places selling this tool, usually for around $6.
The dead head snip might not the be flashiest or most exciting tool for the gardener, but for me, it’s the most valuable tool I have for keeping houseplants clean and for thinning seedlings.