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Cutting back to recovery

Thank you for advice that I received on this forum to cut back my brown leaved and  withering Heucherella, suspected to be suffering from a fungus. I said I would report on its progress and I am pleased to say that it is recovering  from its drastic haircut, with a nice head of green variegated leaves.

In the middle of the summer an aquilega was covered in a rust/fungus and it looked so bad that I thought the plant was beyond rescuing. I cut back all the stems to the roots to remove the diseased plant material, intending to dig up the roots and dispose of them too. Well I was busy for a few days and when I returned with my spade the plant was already re-sprouting, so I left it. Within a few weeks the plant had developed a nice new head of leaves again and with feeding has become larger and far more beautiful than before.

The last two issues of gardener's world has given advice on pruning trees and shrubs. I have learnt this year that perenials can benefit from a pruning sometimes too!


  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,107

    My aquilegias get mildewed most summers and I cut them back to nothing sometimes have to do it twice. They always come back.

  • Nice to know that aquilegas are pretty tough plants to beat as well as being slug resistant!

  • Posted at the same time Verdun! I have a lot to learn, only started the lark in January this year. Our first garden, but so run down with hardly any plants in it that we have had the beauty of starting everything from scratch!

  • jo4eyesjo4eyes Posts: 2,050

    Another tip re Heucheras -from an exhibitor at the Tatton show. When they get woody stems & lift themselves up out of the ground, dig it up & replant deeper! Just done today on 2 small plants in a border the soil was very soft, moist even, so easy to do.

    I think we all forget abouit different seasons when we first start a garden. J.

  • chicachica Posts: 252

    thats i will do  jo4eyes with my heucheras just looked in my garden and my aquilegas have sprouted everywhere but i love them so much havent got the heart to pull them up now there isnt a bit of soil space left,dont know what im going to do next year when i see all the lovely plants i want.

  • jo4eyesjo4eyes Posts: 2,050

    Agree abouit just planting the younger bits of Heucheras. These 2 today were only small, so splitting not an option. I tend to do jobs as they arise, especially this year as my health has not been good.

    Love Tatton show, my nearest one to visit. You can buy plants too. image

    Chica- I too allow a lot of self-seeding, but just sometimes you do have to take charge! This yr daughter & me tied coloured wool around our best Aquilegias when in flower & then I weeded out the rest, inferior ones, later on.

    I also nowadays avoid putting their seed pods into my compost bins & put them into the council wheely bin. Home compost bins rarely get hot enough to stop the seeds germinating in the resulting compost when used as a mulch. Ditto forget-me- nots, Tellima & Achemilla mollis. There is a limit to self seeding even in my garden! image J.

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