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Cutting Back Penstemons

Novice23Novice23 Posts: 182

I have a couple of very large Penstemons in my garden, which were lovely for a couple of years, but got too large so I cut them back.  They are still growing well but I had virtually no flowers last summer.   Was this because I cut them back at the wrong time, in the wrong way or was it to do with the awful weather last year.    I need to cut them back again but would like to get it right this time.   Can anyone help?



  • gardengirl6gardengirl6 Posts: 223

    I cut mine back in March, and I too had less flowers last year.    I am putting it down to the lousy summer, and I have already done mine this year.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 26,974

    I'd blame the weather. It was responsible for a lot of grief last year. After winter is a good cutting back time

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • LeggiLeggi Posts: 489
    I usually give mine a light prune around now (depending on the weather) but last year like many plants, it flowered very late.
  • Novice23Novice23 Posts: 182

    Gosh thanks so much for the advice and so quick!!   Glad other people had the same experience as me, makes me feel like I did less of a hatchet job on them.    I will be out wielding the secateurs this weekend, snow and wind permitting....  #

    Thanks again everyone



  • Novice23Novice23 Posts: 182

    Thanks Verdun, i will try the cuttings and see what happens.  Not always that good with cuttings, but will certainly have a go.

    Thanks again

  • jo4eyesjo4eyes Posts: 2,058

    Give yourself 2 chances- use the prunings from their cut back this spring for 1 lot of cutting material, then take fresh cuttings again in late summer.

    Those taken in the late summer will need overwintering, but a coldframe/unheated porch/greenhouse will be fine. Pop a fleece 'blanket' over them if really cold winter. J.

  • Novice23Novice23 Posts: 182

    Hi Everyone, Cut these down to the ground in April, and took lots of cuttings.  All the cuttings died, but the plants are now looking wonderful and have come back stronger and better than before.

    Will try cuttings again next year, but thanks foir all the advi ce.


  • AbiMAbiM Posts: 17

    Did they flower well after you cut back?

    looking at huge floppy overgrown but much-loved plants and wondering what to do!

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 26,974

    Yes, AbiM, they need cutting back to perform well. Now. Down to a good set of growing shoots. But read this whole thread, they do go downhill eventually and cuttings are a good plant

    In the sticks near Peterborough
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