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What are these and what should I do with them?

The below plants are growing in various places in the garden to a large height and the weight of the dead heads are causing them to bow over. I can't quite work out what they are. Should I trim them back to the ground or just down to below the bottom-most shoots and expect them to grow back next year? Or something else? Thanks!


  • B3B3 Posts: 15,503
    It's verbena bonarensis. You can leave the seed heads for the birds or trim it back to just above the lowest green shoot. If there are no shoots, leave a few inches.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • Agree with @B3
  • Thanks. I will leave them for the birds but once they're gone I'll trim them back as several of them are bent or snapped and I can't see them regaining their original upright growth without being trimmed back, can you?
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 65,489
    I would leave them for now ... in the spring when you see new shoots beginning then cut the old stems back to about 3 shoots from the base you’ll get loads of strong new growth. 

    If you leave the seedheads on over the winter, not only will they feed the birds but you should get some lovely new selfsown seedlings that you can transplant wherever you want. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Thanks! Good advice and I'll leave them until the spring.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,361
    You could transplant them to a better site where they get support from other plants.
    They get battered here by weather all the time, so I have to give them physical supports or have them behind other, fairly tall plants and shrubs.  :)
    If you're in a wet, cold area like I am, they don't self seed readily, but you can take cuttings in spring and summer by using the stuff you cut off. It gives good back up. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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