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My potentilla has grown rather lanky - very bare in the middle with all the new growth at the ends.  Wondering whether I should cut it back before the winter, thinking that the weight of the snow (Scottish Highlands!) might break the branches altogether, or would I be better just to wait till the Spring and then cut it back, probably with the loss of next year's flowers?  Advice welcome, thank you.


  • plant pauperplant pauper Posts: 6,234

    I cut mine back severely (like the book said) in March and it took a while but I got late flowers and it's still going.

    I think sooner is better. I thought it would never flower this year.

    If V. says now, then now it is.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,115

    They're usually pretty indestructible - I'd cut it back just now, perhaps by about a third if it's substantial. You could do that again next year. I hacked back a mature one about 6 weeks ago and it's fine, but bearing in mind the time of year now, it's probably best to be a little cautious image

    I'm in Scotland too ( west Central belt) - and the garden's quite exposed, about 400 feet above sea level. We've had quite a lot of cold weather recently. 

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

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thanks all.  I'll get to it as long as the weather is reasonable. Can I chop back to bare wood?

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,053

    I've only ever cut back hard this side of Winter on one occasion and it sulked hideously , but I seem to be in the minority.

    Maybe just bad luck, but I've always cut in early Spring ever since.

  • Emma915Emma915 Posts: 95

    I know of one that was cut back to hard wood and didn't take very well to it.  It's 18 months and slowly showing signs of growth but certainly not thriving.  Hoping as time goes on and with a little TLC it will come back.  Just wanted to share this so that you know before taking action.

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