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What to do when a plant has new green growth at base? Snapdragon, salvia, lavender, granny's bonnet

Pink678Pink678 EnglandPosts: 147
I think this might be a rather basic question, but I really would love to know the answer (I'm a bit new to gardening).

A few plants are growing completely new stems up from the base, while the rest of the plant is still there.  So it's like one main plant, with a baby plant growing up from the base at the same time.

I took a few photos to illustrate as it's quite hard to explain.

The first 2 pics are mini snapdragon (I think) with the first picture showing the whole plant, then the second picture showing the new plant at the base.
The next 2 pics are saliva.
The next 2 pics are lavender (though it doesn't show it as well, but there is fresh green coming in at the bottom).
The last pic is granny's bonnet, which I had already pruned once after flowering, then the leaves grew to that height and died and now I have a second lot of new green growth.

So a plant has new green growth at base, I was wondering if it's a sign to cut off the old growth?
And is it a good idea to cut off the old growth now, but not wait too long because of frost risk?
Or whether people leave plants like this, and then cut them at a particular month of the year?
Or what should I do ...?

Any advice is very much appreciated.



  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 16,398
    They are good questions.
  • Pink678Pink678 EnglandPosts: 147
    Thank you Fire that is encouraging! :D
  • Pink678Pink678 EnglandPosts: 147
    I see, Jenny J, good to know!  And good to know it's OK to leave them.
    Although the main salvia are dead, I don't mind how they look really.

    So then I'm wondering, what is the kindest/best thing to do for the baby plants at the bottom - is it better to leave as-is and cut the old plant off in spring, so the old plant gives some protection from frost (and so the cutting doesn't stimulate the plant into trying to grow the new one now, only to be killed by frost)?
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 80,390
    I cut them back in the spring. I leave the dead stems on the wall plants through the winter as they provide snug winter homes for small beneficial insects like ladybirds. 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Pink678Pink678 EnglandPosts: 147
    edited 22 September
    What a lovely thing to know Dovefromabove, I'm all for providing suitable winter housing for ladybirds.
    I think I might leave them all then, and wait until spring to cut them back.
  • B3B3 South East LondonPosts: 22,841
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • Pink678Pink678 EnglandPosts: 147
  • WonkyWombleWonkyWomble SuffolkPosts: 4,166
    Not only that but the snapdragons will scatter seed and I'm sure others will, and you will have more free plants for next year that when they are a bit bigger you can lift and transfer to where you want them... And then the cycle will repeat again 😉🤣
  • Pink678Pink678 EnglandPosts: 147
    Very nice, WonkyWomble! (love your name). Now I just have to educate myself as to what snapdragon seedlings look like so I don't think they are weeds and pull them ...
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