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The Chelsea Chop

PAUL27PAUL27 Posts: 1
Hi, I've just been reading the GW Chelsea chop article and I understand the reasons for doing so, (mainly delaying flowering for smaller but plentiful flowers later), my question is that the UK has had such a cold spring that plants are really taking time to grow, so should I wait until these plants (herbaceous perennials) are of sufficient growth before cutting back or will I run the risk of cutting too late for flower development this season? I fear cutting them back now (Chelsea week) as they are still quite small and may not recover. I did the chop last year but we had a really warm spring the the plants were twice the size they are at present - any thoughts anyone?


  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 24,076
    I'm waiting.  there's not a lot to chop at the moment😒
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 49,135
    I've never been able to do it. Nothing big enough at this time of year  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • LoxleyLoxley NottinghamPosts: 4,976
    I've actually done it to my Asters, which were romping away. But I only gave them a light chop, more of a 'Chelsea Pinch' really. Hoping it will just make them produce side shoots and end up stockier plants.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,574
    Nothing to chop here yet.  Everything is so late.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 7,706
    Same here. It'll be in a few weeks time, or maybe not at all this year depending on how things are doing. I normally do asters (Monch and Little Carlow, both not "Aster" any more, officially) and Phlox, and sometimes the things with the long name beginning with H that used to be Sedum.
  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 24,076
    I'm thinking not at all this year. I'll be lucky if my sedums ( the only ones I do) get big enough for a reasonable display. But who  knows? We're all in uncharted territory this year.
    I think those of us down south need some advice from the northerners who garden with a much shorter season.
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 11,011
    I did a couple of phlox earlier this week, all the rain has made things grow like mad.
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 3,706
    I've already given the Chelsea chop/pinch to the following:
    • Aster;
    • Penstemon;
    • Monarda;
    • Phlox;
    • Calamintha nepeta.
    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • didywdidyw East SuffolkPosts: 2,586
    I won't wait until September, but I will wait until there becomes a need.
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