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When to cut fennel back

WilderbeastWilderbeast East YorkshirePosts: 1,410
Hi all, I went for a wander today and found that my fennel plants are throwing up new leaves from last year's stems. 

My question is should I leave them as they are (there about 7ft tall) till early spring or should I cut them back now. They were new last year and looked fantastic with bright limey green foliage zinging out of my perennial beds and I don't want to make a mess of them 

Many thanks for any help 

Posts

  • amancalledgeorgeamancalledgeorge South LondonPosts: 2,307
    Last year when I was in your situation, I only cut any dead branches and just shaped it a bit and it did really well for a second year. No idea if that's the done thing but it worked well for me. Cutting anything down now with the probability of getting hard frosts soon sounds a bit dangerous to me. 
    To Plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,102
    I leave the tall fennel stems until I do my spring tidy up ... usually in early to mid March, depending on the weather. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 4,039
    edited January 2020
    I took two out in November. My goodness, their roots are tenacious beggars so I would guess they would withstand some rough treatment.
  • WilderbeastWilderbeast East YorkshirePosts: 1,410
    Thanks all, I leave as planned till the worst of winter has gone. Had a hard frost yesterday and the stems did look good 
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    Wow. My bronze fennel dies back each year. Is that odd?
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,102
    So does my fennel. I think what we’re discussing is when we cut the dead stems back. 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • WilderbeastWilderbeast East YorkshirePosts: 1,410
    Hi fire my fennels do die back just leaving the large stems and flower heads, my mother in law has the bronze fennels and they are really small in comparison so maybe the die back is much more noticeable. 

    Yes Dovefromabove it's the stems I was asking about, mine seemed totally dead but there is quite a bit of new growth coming from the lower nodes upto about 3ft high. I'm going to leave well alone now till late spring and enjoy any frost's that cling to the old framework of stems 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,102
    Yes I just chop everything down to near ground level in the spring. I use those little fronds for cooking ... nice to have some at this time of year 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







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