Forum home Problem solving

Monty cutting back plants

A couple of weeks ago on GW Monty suggested it was time to cut back plants that had not flowered yet in order to make them bush out. Could anyone tell me if Penstemon would be one of these plants and am I too late to do it if it has already started flowering?  I watched the programme on catch up so obviously some delay.
«1

Posts

  • BijdezeeBijdezee BPosts: 1,484
    edited June 2019
    I think he was referring to the 'Chelsea chop'. Penstemon are cut back early in the year, April, when they start new growth. Your penstemon should be in or about to flower now. 



  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,299
    "Chelsea chop" gets the name as it's done around the time of Chelsea Flower Show, 3rd week in May.
    Devon.
  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 6,535
    I have chopped back various perennials, some in flower, after the ‘official’ date and I am ahead anyway in my location, and they did re flower later.  Mind you, according to the weather forecast, we are all due very hot weather next week, so maybe not the best time, it might stress the plants out too much??
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 6,324
    edited June 2019
    You can chop a part of the plant - the bit at the back, say. Then you get flowers now on the bit you don't cut, and flowers later on the bits you do. If they are well established, penstemon are pretty robust so you could try a half and half approach and see if it makes any difference. Then you'll know for next year

    We're only forecast to get the usual 3 fine days and a thunderstorm so nothing that would stress a plant. At the moment there's no sign of a long hot spell here. 
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • herbaceousherbaceous OxfordshirePosts: 2,310
    Does this work for Nigella? Not being a flower person I have little experience with Chelsea chopping but the Nigella has flowered very early this year so just wondering?
    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 6,324
    Not grown nigella but it looks like the sort of plant that you cut back to a leaf node to get side shoots and new flowers? Rather than one to cut right down
    “Light thinks it travels faster than anything but it is wrong. No matter how fast light travels, it finds the darkness has always got there first” 
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,672
    I think I've only ever seen Chelsea chopping of perennials, and Nigella is an annual so I think it might just give up the ghost, but I could be wrong.  If you have lots of it you could try it on one or two plants and see what happens.
  • herbaceousherbaceous OxfordshirePosts: 2,310
    More and more each year Jennyj! I didn't realise it was just perennials but I might experiment as I need them to keep going for another month at least.
    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,672
    No harm in trying! Let us know how it goes.
  • herbaceousherbaceous OxfordshirePosts: 2,310
    I certainly will. Enforced indoor time at the moment, on a deadline to finish papering and painting, v bored and frustrated so I'd best calm down before I approach with the snippers
     
    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
Sign In or Register to comment.