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Cut back Geum


Last year, I bought some Geum totally tangerine as 1ltr pots. They did really well and all I did was dead head them regularly. Yesterday, I cut them right back, to about 20cm as most of the leaves were tatty and eaten by moth larvae. Have I done the right thing or should I have waited until next month?



  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,187
    It'll be fine. It's always good to leave a little bit of vegetation  [as you've done] so that it provides a little bit of extra protection if/when any severe weather hits.
    Old, damaged foliage isn't doing anything for the plant now   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Phew, thanks. There's very little leaf coverage left, mostly just the new growth poking through and some stems - hopefully that's ok. Is this time of year ok to tidy up other perennials too, i.e. cutting down last year's growth (I didn't do anything to them in the autumn)? 

    One I'm unsure of is Verbena bonarensis - last autumn, I cut the seed heads off to prevent self-seeding and this promoted a lot of new growth. Should I leave it as it is or cut it down to much lower new growth next month?
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,187
    I don't do much to perennials until stems are dead and just pull out. If they're quite substantial, I sometimes cut them back by about half - in the way you've done. It's one of those things that you do according to your climate. It's very wet and windy here, and plants can even be uprooted, so a lot of top growth can be a bad thing, but it can also be very cold, so a little help from the old stems can also be good. Most perennials benefit from being divided every few years too.
    I don't cut V. bons back until later. They often don't survive winter here, so I also take cuttings the previous year to over winter. When you cut them back, you can use that material as cuttings.  :)

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze South NottsPosts: 1,149
    I usually let some of my verbena bonariensis stand through winter for seed. Often I have far too many seedlings but they are easy to remove. As this plant ages it becomes more woody so it's good to have some younger plants too. I also grow G Totally Tangerine, it flowers for longer than other Geums if you dead head regularly. Also very easy to lift and split will make lots more plants. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,187
    Unfortunately, they don't seed readily everywhere  ;)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

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