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Should I cut back?

Hello, I have some plants I want to move, I'm thinking mainly Hot Lips and a Penstemon. My understanding is that you leave the foliage on these plants over Winter, for protection, and then cut back in Spring. But I also thought you should cut back plants you are moving to give them a better chance of survival. So in this instance, would I be better off cutting back and moving, or moving as they are?


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,465
    My personal instinct is to leave the top growth on if you can, and maybe take cuttings as insurance if possible .
    I have moved a "Hotlips" in September before now, it's best to dig the hole first if you can (better to overestimate the size of the hole !).

    Which variety of penstemon is it , just out of curiosity?
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,844
    You can also cut back part of the way, but moving a perennial just now is less risky than moving in the full summer heat, so I wouldn't worry too much. 
    As @AnniD says - prep the new hole, dig out as big a rootball as possible to minimise stress, and they'll barely know they've been moved   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,435
    edited September 2021
    Agree, they won't be doing much more now in the way of growing and producing new flowers so leaving some of the old growth on for winter protection won't stress the roots like it would when they're actively growing. I think I'd just take off what you need to, to be able to get the spade in around the rootball and fill in around them in their new home.
    Salvia stems can be quite brittle so you might find that some bits break off when you're moving them, and that's nothing to worry about at this time of year either.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • Thanks all, I will be doing some digging and adding manure etc to my soil anyway so I'll get the hole ready first.
    @AnniD I don't know what Penstemon it is - bought in the days when I didnt pay enough attention to such things! It's annoying now, not knowing. It's a burgundy kind of colour!
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,465
    No worries  :)
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