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Does anyone know whether rudbeckia goldquelle (the yellow pompom type) responds to "chelsea chopping" in June.  Cutting back like this works well on plants like the border phlox to make them more compact, but my rudbeckia has reached 5 feet tall ! 

No, never found the need to,chop back any rudbekia.  What variery do you have?  



That's a cultivar of R. laciniata. I have the species and it is too tall for it's strength. I think a chop would be worth the experiment. It was on my list to try this year but none of the list got done.

That wasn't a lot of help was it

Thanks folks.  One good thing about this rudbeckia is that I can look it straight in the eye !   And another is that we're having winds and rain at the moment and it's still standing tall with no staking.  Will have a go with a "chelsea chop" next June.


I rarely get the chance to look mine in the eye, it's always at least 45 degrees from upright.

Could try chopping half, then there'd be two flowerings at two levels


Good thinking nutcutlet !  

The variety is important. ,Goldsturn for example..prob the most widely late in shooting and, although I am a devotee of the Chelsea chop, it is not a plant that seems to warrant it.  Mine are in good rich soil amd are about 3' or more tall...perfect for that plant.  Goldsturn is sturdy and compact but I regularly split it to keep it vigorous.  

If you do have one of the taller varieties I would give it a chop but, better than that, would replace it with Goldsturn or similar

Excuse my ignorance, but who or what is the Chelsea chop?

I've heard of Barnsley chops and Chelsea tractors, ......

Thanks Verdun.  I grow the Goldsturm in another part of the border and it's brilliant - don't need to do anything to it.  Thought I'd try this Rudbeckia Laciniata Goldquelle as I wanted another yellow perennial.  I tried a Helenium, which just fell over, as did a Helianthus.  Must say, it's quite difficult finding a chosen colour with the right height and habit, without the need for staking.

Celia2, Please, what is the Chelsea chop?

Oh, thank you Dove. I don't think I have the courage to muck about like that.

Thanks for providing that enlightenment "Dovefromabove" - you've saved me a lengthy screed !

This "Chelsea chop" thing!    This is something I instinctly did years ago starting when I got fed up with constant dead heading of some perennials.  So I,chopped it back and welcomed a rejuvenated plant a few weeks later.  The Chelsea chop is simply cutting back plants,that you know will be leggy come late summer. By cutting back, maybe by half, in May or early June, the plants become sturdier and shorter and only a little later in flowering.  I do this with annuals too,,such as cosmos which are vigorous tallish plants in mid summer onwards.  Cutting and pinching these back before mid summer creates much better garden performers that need no support.

Waterbutts, there is no risk to the plants ....just decide which plants will get leggy and cut them back before the end of June.

Old dogs and new tricks, I'm afraid, in my case. I'd never remember to do it in time and, by the time I did, I'd have forgotten what I was supposed to be doing it for.

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