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To cut back or not?

JoneskJonesk Posts: 205

Hi all,

I have several plants that are still flowering that should really have been killed off by frosts by now.

Young Penstemons and Erysimum (Bowles Mauve) are still flowering and creating new buds. Normally they have died off and I cut them back in early spring so they form busy new plants - what I have now are fairly gangly as they are young plants started last year.

Should I just leave them alone or cut them back? I'm concerned they are using all their energy creating buds now?

All advice welcolme


  • I would leave them for now. The chances are we will get some winter weather eventually. If you cut them back they will put out new growth that will then get damaged and that would weaken them. The old growth will give some protection to the roots and  core of the plant and then they can be cut back when we are sure spring is actually here!


  • JoneskJonesk Posts: 205

    Thank you Buttercup, I'll leave them for now.

    How far back should I cut back the Erysimum when I do cut it back?

  • Depends a bit on their growth habit. Most of mine , like yours are just a bit straggly and those will get tidied back to a decent framework as it were. One is very bushy but has a forest of new buds  just where all the stems originate, so will be cut back to there. I have a few cuttings waiting in the wings for replacements if needed. I just love this plant - only got wise to it a few years ago, don't know how I managed without it!

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  • jo4eyesjo4eyes Posts: 2,058

    Agree with Verdun. 

    My avatar is my original plant at old house, taken one frosty December day. Here have several babies from it, but plan to propagate from those this yr. J.

  • JoneskJonesk Posts: 205

    Thank you all,

    I will have a go at some cuttings this year. The wildlife love it, butterflies especially and with a large garden to fill anything for free is a huge bonus. Thanks image

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