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14/01/2014 at 14:28


I bought this Verbena Bonariensis last year and it was great and flowered right into November/Dec. I went for a wander today and I see it is started to shoot. Should I have pruned it to the ground? or do you leave them to get on with themselves?

Sorry for the terribly blurry photo, I took it with me phone.

Thanks MM


14/01/2014 at 14:32

Mine have never stopped growing,we've only had 2 real frosts.

If the weather continues like this they'll be fine and you can cut them back at the end of winter.

If it turns cold and wet you may lose some, I usually lose a few but some always come through

14/01/2014 at 14:40

Hi Nut,

Yeah we have only had 2 frosts, and one of them was last night. Everything looks like it's spring out there, green shoots everywhere.

Should they normally be cut down then? I shall leave them be this year.

14/01/2014 at 15:06
Magical Meerkat wrote (see)


I bought this Verbena Bonariensis last year and it was great and flowered right into November/Dec. I went for a wander today and I see it is started to shoot. Should I have pruned it to the ground? or do you leave them to get on with themselves?

Sorry for the terribly blurry photo, I took it with me phone.

Thanks MM


As it's still relatively mild then it probably will still keep growing. So leave it for now. Once the weather does properly warm up then there may be some dead/dying bits which you can snip off. You may also spot self-sown 'babies' nearby later in Spring. Those can be carefully lifted & potted up/planted e/w.

If it produces new side shoots you can take those off as cuttings, which I try & do every yr. The normal time for taking cuttings is late summer/autumn for me, but they need overwintering in a coldframe/inside which you may not have.

Mine are still standing proud out there- shall investigate them around March, J.

14/01/2014 at 15:13

Hi jo4eyes,

Thankyou I shall leave it well alone until March and then have another gander. I am hoping there will be some self-sown babies from this and from my globe thistles. I am just about to get a coldframe. It's a tall one with a cupboard/greenhouse underneath. I have only got room along a south facing fence. Should I put it in the sunniest spot or where there is a little shade from the house at times.

I am a bit worried about frazzling plants if we get another hot summer.


14/01/2014 at 15:30

It'll be better sited where there is some shade, unless you can be absolutely sure that you can well ventilate it every sunny day. No offence, but all of us have 'frazzled' things at some time! 

BTW as it's a tall one do make absolutely sure that it's well attached to the wall if possible. The tall ones can blow over! J.

14/01/2014 at 16:03

Ok I thought the shady place would be better thank you. I managed to totally frazzle 4 plants, that never revived last year. It was the first summer in this garden and I had no idea how hot it got, it all looked flame torched!

I am worried about it falling over. It's a fence that will be behind it, how would you suggest attaching it? It is a wooden framed coldframe and they are fence panels between concrete posts that wobble in a the wind a bit.


14/01/2014 at 16:53

I agree with previous comments regarding mild winter etc. I try to leave mine until Spring before pruning back, but with all the gales we've had in Devon recently I cut mine back to about 18" / 0.5m ( depending if you're old school or new school) They were starting to suffer from wind rock and some which I planted this year were actually moving in the soil. I normally leave them as late as possible as the older growth gives a tiny bit of extra frost protection to the crown however as soon as it looks like they're bursting back into life I cut them pretty hard back so they don't become leggy.

I did leave one which wasn't so dense as the goldfinches love the seed heads.


14/01/2014 at 17:03

Well I'd certainly secure the fence panels first. Usually a small block of wood can be hammered in between the panel & concrete post to fix the 'wobble'.I'd do that asap so you 1. dont lose a fence panel in any more gales & 2. are ready for coldframe arrival. Trying to sort it once damage is done wont be ideal!

Oh & if the panels need restaining/painting do it before you site the coldframe next to fence.

Try some vine eyes fixed to the panel, or even concrete post if poss- wear safety goggles if drilling into concrete .Then strong garden wire looped through those & around the coldframe frame/supports should do the trick. BTW I'd also check who owns the fence first......

If it's not yours then just use very strong twine to loop through the wooden panels, if they're up to it, & the CF frame as before. J.

14/01/2014 at 17:17

Hi Jo,

I did try wedging wood into the gaps, but they have flung out again the the storms. I'm in the S/W where it's been a little crazy. We have indeed already lost 2 panels. However we are renting so there isn't an awful lot we can do with the fence. I shall try a block of wood again. It is the landlords fence, but he will be fine with us adding eyes to the fence. I have some of those already and some wire so will get that and the wobbly fence sorted asap.

Thank you for your help.


15/10/2015 at 19:37

I called them annual because I cut mine to the ground in autumn but they never showed any further growth in spring/summer.  Internet info suggests they are not completely hardy in some areas of the country It did reseed profusely so it's was not a complete waste of time plantinto them 


16/10/2015 at 12:58
I leave mine as they are,as the birds like the seed heads,but if we get strong winds I shall probably cut them back to about a foot,have had mine in for two years now,and very happy with them and their babies that have sown themselves from last year. I am down South.
I have had a brilliant show this year,the flower bracts are still deep purple.I just love them.
I have a new packet of seeds to sow next spring for the front garden where I have my grasses,should look great amongst those come next summer...good luck with yours which ever way you proceed with them.
16/10/2015 at 14:41

I bought one V Bonariensis a couple of years ago - now they're everywhere.
They self-seed easily and don't really get going until mid-summer, so I leave them to grow between other plants and when the other plants have died back, the VB is still going strong.
I tidy them up in the spring, but don't give them any special attention, they don't seem to need any help whatsoever.


16/10/2015 at 18:36

Pete8 - that's fabulous  Mine are still flowering well - this is their first year so I do hope that they spread - I've got quite a few cuttings on the go just in case. 

16/10/2015 at 19:10

This is an old thread but it it such a good plant it is worthy of revival. For me some years in Sussex they start flowering as early as April, other years not til early June BUT they go on flowering easily through November and sometimes into December in some years...guess it all depends on how cold the autumn and early winter period is. What a star plant!!  What I do is cut them back hard as soon as the cold weather gets the better of them, usually in December or January.  This year I want to move some to a different place. I shall wait until they finally do stop flowering (if they do), then cut them back and in a mild spell I will dig them up and move them to their new location, seedlings and all.  

16/10/2015 at 19:22

When you say hard back Redwing ............... how hard 

16/10/2015 at 19:30

Redwing, goldfinches love the seed heads if you could just leave a couple of stems you'd be well rewarded by their visits.

16/10/2015 at 20:05

Jo - your climate and conditions are pretty similar to mine. I'd leave cutting them back till spring, but you can be quite sore on them at that time. They'll sprout away very quickly. I've hacked them back to about 6 inches, or a foot if I'm feeling benevolent 

16/10/2015 at 20:23

Yes you are right,  Hostafan1


16/10/2015 at 20:28

Jo47:  I cut them back to about a foot, to where you can see they will sprout from, sometimes lower.  Once they do start to grow again, they grow away quickly.  That's my experience, some shoots won't make it but those that do will grow well.

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