Chelsea chop

Clancy22Clancy22 Posts: 14

Every year I give my many 'sedums' the Chelsea Chop in early May, but as its been so cold here in the West Midlands for so long I'm wondering when I should do it this year. Most of the plants are still very small. Any else have this query?


  • Chelsea chop + 10 days? image though I bet they're not far behind come the day...


    no warranties implied or given image

  • Hi there,

    I'm also in the West Midlands. I've just been reading this in Matthew Wilson's book. The plants must be about half to two thirds their eventual size with no flower buds and he recommends not doing it if plants are stressed due to lack of water. He talks about taking into account the climate and the kind of spring and winter we've had. HTH. 

  • Mine are still just 1cm high here in newcastle so can't see them getting the chop any time soon image

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,692

    Mine too Andy! They look as though they've already been chopped -right to the ankles! image

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,171

    Cheslea is a month away.  Plenty of time for plants to catch up and for gardeners to take stock of their local conditions.

    The Vendée, France
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,050

    Would the chop stop mine falling over every year? The insects don't mind if they're lying down but they'd please me more if they stood up. They're now about 6" and get to about 18" - 2'

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener LeicsPosts: 6,357

    Hi nut, yes, that's the main reason I do it to mine.  I was going to consign them to the compost bin as I got fed up with them falling over everything until I tried cutting them back when they were about 12-15" high.  Still might get rid to be honest - not overly keen on them, so if I need space for something else, they're high on the list of possible sacrifices! 

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,050

    Thanks Bob. I like them, the insects love them so they get to stay. I'll try the chop at 12-15" and see how they go. How far back to you take them?

  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 10,171

    I once spotted 4 species of bee on one sedum flower head so will be keeping all mine but they do benefit from a chop or they flop on my fertile soil.    I take the specatibles back quite short and cut the purpley one by a half.

    The Vendée, France
  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,050

    Thanks obelixx, i have Purple Emperor and one of the common pink ones. The get the hair-cut this year. I also have a much smaller pink calledRuby Glow, it flops but makes a good edger like that

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 19,692

    I chop mine too but as you say obelixx it's the bees and butterflies which are the main attraction in having them. I sometimes chop some and leave others depending on where they are. They're so easy to propagate too. I had to rescue some from the rampaging bunnies which chopped them just a tad too far- image- but I've always liked them.

    I had the white one a few years back which was quite nice too 'Iceberg'.

  • SalinoSalino Posts: 1,609

     I grow 'Autumn Joy' and one called 'Matrona'...   I think to keep them compact you should lift and divide in Spring otherwise they will grow big and flop over...   mine are a bit behind this year, but I do love the Spring foliage on them.   I think I chopped off the old flowering stems a couple of months ago... is that what's called the 'Chelsea chop'... only in Feb..?  probably not the right thing to do... but it was a nice day...image

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