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Liatris spicata

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Question from Brian mc


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can anyone give me some pruning advice for this pant - i have grown them from bulb and they have turned out well. Do i just cut the stocks back to ground or do i cut all the foilage back to ground level in october/april. I live in Glasgow

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  • Replies: 1
  • Posted: Tue. 25th August 2009 15:18

Cutting back Liatris

Reply from Kathy C

Hi, Brian,
When to cut back Liatris, as with many perennials, is a matter of preference. Leaving the faded flower spikes can provide winter interest/seed for birds, etc. And, you might just get a few come up from seed this way. However, not everyone likes this 'look' and will cut their perennials down long before spring. If you want to cut it back, first remove the faded flower spikes to the base. Leave the foliage as it is best to cut that back once the plant is dormant - this is usually best done after several hard frosts. Cutting perennials down too early can cause them to put on new growth which will use up food reserves meant for the following season. If hit by frost then, they might not have enough energy to come back in spring. Cut foliage back to within 5cm of the ground. Cutting any closer than that if you live in a cold area can cause some plants, particularly those with hollow shoots, damage by frost. Having said all that, if you don't get those 'killing frosts', and the foliage looks okay throughout winter, you can cut it back in spring.
Hope this has been helpful. Please let me know how you get on.
Kathy C.

  • Posted: Tue. 25th August 2009 18:23