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Cutting back hardy geraniums: Best time to do so?

Hi all,

When is the best/right time to cut back hardy geraniums so that they're ready for the new season? 

I trimmed them of their dead flowers and brown messy foliage after flowering late last summer, and was planning on chopping them back hard once the rest of the foliage browned and started dying off, but the remaining foliage stayed looking healthy and green all winter! 

It's still in good shape now and is kind of helping the border look a bit more pleasant and green rather than there just being bare brown soil, but should I cut it back hard to the ground before spring anyway? (I.e. will it not grow/flower as well if I leave it as it is?  Will it block/stunt the growth of other nearby hardy new spring shoots if I leave it as it is?)

If you do recommend chopping back hard, when is the optimum time to do so (now? early spring? ideally before now?)

Thanks!

Posts

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 28,143
    I'd do them any time in the next few weeks
    Devon.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 69,186
    I’d do them when this promised cold snap is over. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • Bee witchedBee witched Scottish BordersPosts: 694
    Hi @CulpabilityBrown,

    Do you know which hardy geranium it is?
    I have a couple - G. Biokovo and G. macrorrhizum album (also known as rusty duck) which are both semi-evergreen.
    With these I just pick off any dead bits and leave them.

    Bee x image 
    Bees must gather nectar from two million flowers to make one pound of honey   
  • Hi @CulpabilityBrown,

    Do you know which hardy geranium it is?
    I have a couple - G. Biokovo and G. macrorrhizum album (also known as rusty duck) which are both semi-evergreen.
    With these I just pick off any dead bits and leave them.

    Bee x image 

    Unfortunately not, they're the "cranesbill" type, but I've no idea what variety etc it is.  They stayed green throughout winter, but that may just have been because it's been so mild.
  • AuntyRachAuntyRach Posts: 4,124
    It’s one of my first jobs to do in early Spring, say March. 
    My garden and I live in South Wales. 
  • hmmm early March seems to be the general consensus.  Would a compromise of giving them a trim round the edges (to reduce their current foot-print but save a bit of foliage) be counter-productive?
  • Its been milder than normal which is why they have stayed green througout. Mine are the same and I jus tidied them up when I moved them to a temporary home for the time being. Unless they are straggley then I would leave them. Mine seem to like the temporary home and are roming away as if winter never happened! I have no need to to tidy them up.
  •   batwood14 said:
    Its been milder than normal which is why they have stayed green througout. Mine are the same and I jus tidied them up when I moved them to a temporary home for the time being. Unless they are straggley then I would leave them. Mine seem to like the temporary home and are roming away as if winter never happened! I have no need to to tidy them up.

    Yeah, I was waiting for the nod from winter that never came! :l

    Okay, thanks for the feedback!

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