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20 messages
16/11/2013 at 11:31

Hi all, I'm just doing a pre winter tidy and wondered if you can give me some advice on  pruning down my Verbena bonariensis. They've been in the ground since mid summer and have done well, and I want them to continue to do well next year. The flowers have died down and they're looking a bit sad. If I should cut them down, how low should I go? thanks guys! 

 

Dave

 

16/11/2013 at 11:39

Will be interested in your answers, i was wondering that as well

16/11/2013 at 11:43

the tops will die off so you might as well. They're not plants to stand tall though the winter and look good in the frost, or great suppliers of winter bird food

I haven't done mine yet but I haven't done much else either.

16/11/2013 at 11:53

I usually leave mine purely because the tops then take any frost and protect the crowns a bit.  Having said that, in the last 5 winters every one of them has succumbed to severe frosts but leaving the stalks and flower heads means they self seed so I get free new plants in spring.

16/11/2013 at 12:24

Mine also never survive the Winter obelixx so I do the same as you and get the same result.  It means the new ones are quite late to flower but I don't mind that.

16/11/2013 at 12:44

Yes, and you have to be careful not to weed the babies in spring.  Mine still have some flowers now and I love the airy transparency of the plant's structure.

16/11/2013 at 12:47

So the general consensus so far is to leave them be? I wand kind of thinking that anyway. I'll leave them and see how they get on and see if I get any freebies in spring!

 

thanks guys

16/11/2013 at 12:55

Mine all went near horizontal in the last gale. Some will have seeded though and some might come through. I never end up without any. There'll always be some in the gravel on the drive

16/11/2013 at 13:08

Half my garden is on the lean after those gales and the big storm in summer Nut but the verbenas seem to have coped.   Funny how things differ from one garden to another.

16/11/2013 at 13:16

I have some soil that's very lacking in substance Obelixx, dry, but not sandy, like dust. Some plants go well there so I haven't tried to improve it. In one gale a few years ago I thought a Bupleurum fruticosum had been broken off but it had been blown out of the ground after at least 5 years growing there.

The verbena haven't broken, they're half out of the gound, as was a 4 year old buddleia. I've cut that back a lot and pushed the rest back upright. All will be well.

16/11/2013 at 18:48

Well, I cut some back hard right to,the ground....they always survive to flower second year.  However, mild here and light soil.  

I always dig up self sown seedlings and pot them up.  Did this in September and 

pinched back.  I leave them outside but you could overwinter in GH.  I stake bonariensis ......only at the bottom 30 cm....and they stand up to anything then.  Summer without bonariensis is unthinkable for me.  With tall grasses they are superb.

16/11/2013 at 18:52

The best I ever saw was in the carpark of a long deceased nursery where they'd taken over a large area

16/11/2013 at 18:54

I plan to plant a border at the top of my garden with just bonariensis and cannas.  Did a bit this time and liked it so..........

17/11/2013 at 16:36

Hello Verdun! I do the same with the Verbs, pot up the seedlings and then, as it is the Fens, overwinter in G/House. I find that the ones that I don't lose in the winter take SO long to get going the following year.

17/11/2013 at 16:53

I've got my next years plants in pots in a frost free porch. Mine won't survive the winter int he ground. 

Lyn
17/11/2013 at 18:18

I planted over a 100 of these, i have just cut them down and put about 4inches of compost a

nd bark chippings on the top. They will come up next year.

17/11/2013 at 19:44

Hiya Lynn.  100?  What a sight?    Second year plants will be bigger and prob earlier but they occupy space in the winter garden I'd rather have colour in so mostly seedlings for me.

18/11/2013 at 07:48

are they enchinops or alliums ?

18/11/2013 at 08:47

Michael, think that's just lynn's avatar.  

Lyn
18/11/2013 at 09:13

They are my Echinops Michael. I did take the photo from my plants, not just an avatar.

I have a big garden Verdun, they will eventually be right around the back edge, I still have more in the green house to go in next spring, I grew them all from seed in April, never thought they would fully gorw and flower this year but they made 5ft tall and flowered for ages.

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