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Pruning Perennials

Tame those unruly perennials with a little early season pruning. 

Prune back coneflower, Shasta daisies, asters and other late blooming perennials that tend to flop.  Use hand pruners or shears to cut the stems back halfway in mid June.  Some gardeners prune just the outer ring of stems.  They grow shorter and stiffer and act as a living support for the taller, unpruned, stems in the center.  Plus, the pruned stems bloom a bit later extending the floral display.

Floppy Autumn Joy sedum can be cut back as well.  The new growth with be more compact and covered with smaller but many more showy flowers.  Eliminate the floppy growth by moving the sedums to a full sun location with good drainage.

Tip prune mums and asters throughout June to keep the plant compact.  Your efforts will be rewarded with loads of beautiful flowers on attractive plants.

And don’t procrastinate as late season pruning can delay blooms until the snow flies.

A bit more information:  Pruning is just one way to keep floppy perennials looking good.  Surround them with slightly shorter stiffer stemmed perennials or fluffy ornamental grasses to improve their posture and overall appearance.  Or, use twigs to provide needed support.  Carefully weave them into the tall plants to provide needed support while keeping the stakes out of sight.


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