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Advice on Polemonium Kaleidoscope & Salvia Caradonna

This is probably an easy question for most folk on here, but I have very little gardening experience. I need advice on these two plants Polemonium Kaleidoscope & Salvia Caradonna. As you can see from my two photos the plants have stopped flowering and look in a sorry state. I understand both are perennials and will return next year. Can someone tell me if it's safe to cut the plant back? If so how much do I take off? 

Many thanks in advance.

Polemonium Kaleidoscope
Salvia Caradonna 

Posts

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,047
    They like different conditions, and they need help if they're staying in containers. 
    Polemoniums need damp and shade to do well. You'll need to have a decent soil in a container - not compost. You can do that now quite easily if you repot it.
    The Salvia prefers the opposite, but even so, in very long hot spells, a container plant can get dried out and suffer. Again, compost alone is no use if it's staying potted, but you would make sure it's a grittier mix for that plant. 
    Regardless of weather, they'll need regular watering until dormant. In the growing season, when they have lots of foliage, any rain doesn't always penetrate, so it's important to keep checking them.  :)
    All potted plants need the soil refreshed and partially replaced each year, and some slow release food. You can certainly cut them both back a bit just now, but leave any healthy foliage to help feed the plants. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Fairygirl said:
    They like different conditions, and they need help if they're staying in containers. 
    Polemoniums need damp and shade to do well. You'll need to have a decent soil in a container - not compost. You can do that now quite easily if you repot it.
    The Salvia prefers the opposite, but even so, in very long hot spells, a container plant can get dried out and suffer. Again, compost alone is no use if it's staying potted, but you would make sure it's a grittier mix for that plant. 
    Regardless of weather, they'll need regular watering until dormant. In the growing season, when they have lots of foliage, any rain doesn't always penetrate, so it's important to keep checking them.  :)
    All potted plants need the soil refreshed and partially replaced each year, and some slow release food. You can certainly cut them both back a bit just now, but leave any healthy foliage to help feed the plants. 
    That was quick. Thank you. About the soil, my garden has a lot of clay soil (site is a former brickworks in Peterborough) hence why I use containers otherwise its really hard for anything to take in my garden. Silly question but is there a bag of something I could buy from the garden centre other than compost? If so would you recommend that I repot now or in the spring? 

    Thank you
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,047
    A loam based product - if you look for John Innes composts [there are different types] you should find one that suits. You can repot now as it'll help the plants have a better growing medium even though they're almost at dormancy.
    Perennials need dividing every few years too, to keep them thriving. You might also find that the J's Ladder will have seedlings nearby, or produce seeds which you can use for new plants.  :)

    To improve your clay soil, you can add well rotted manure and any other organic matter you can get - any compost, leaf mould, spent compost from pots etc. The manure in particular will help improve the soil structure and make it better for anything you plant out   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Fairygirl said:
    A loam based product - if you look for John Innes composts [there are different types] you should find one that suits. You can repot now as it'll help the plants have a better growing medium even though they're almost at dormancy.
    Perennials need dividing every few years too, to keep them thriving. You might also find that the J's Ladder will have seedlings nearby, or produce seeds which you can use for new plants.  :)

    To improve your clay soil, you can add well rotted manure and any other organic matter you can get - any compost, leaf mould, spent compost from pots etc. The manure in particular will help improve the soil structure and make it better for anything you plant out   :)
    Thank you. Will be visiting the garden centre this weekend. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,047
    Good stuff  :)
    Just make sure the J's Ladder [Polemonium] doesn't get completely dehydrated too  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,046
    I think I would cut both of those back to about 1 or 2 inches above soil level, and give them a really good soaking (dunk in a large container of water until bubbles stop rising if possible). Then I would repot in a soil-based compost next spring, dividing them if the rootballs are filling the current pots and you want to put them back in the same pots. If you divide them you could but some back in the pots with fresh compost and some in the ground.
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