Perovskia "Blue Spire."

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by SimonZ, Dec 14, 2018.

  1. SimonZ

    SimonZ Gardener

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    Colour now fading and it is going to seed. Wondering what to do re the stalks. In the past it has taken care of its self but it has grown impressively and I want to take care to attend to it in theDSCF0266.JPG best possible way. Any thoughts?
     
  2. Verdun

    Verdun Passionate gardener

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    SimonZ......not too complicated. Wait until spring and then prune to a few inches of the ground if you want a more bushy plant...as I do....or to a little higher. (Stems will be less lax too if you cut harder) Cut to where lowest new shoots are growing; you can see then which stems are dead so so remove these entirely.:)
     
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    • SimonZ

      SimonZ Gardener

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      Hi, this plant is now putting out new green growth. I am wanting to clarify what I should do next. I began cutting to the new shoots today, but note you also say above it is possible to cut to within a few inches of ground. Presumably if I do so, new growth will still come this year. I'm tempted to cut some of the plant right back but keep some of the new growth.DSCF2734.JPGDSCF2735.JPGDSCF2734.JPGDSCF2735.JPGDSCF2735.JPG
       
    • KFF

      KFF Total Gardener

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      Hi @SimonZ , if it was mine I would cut the old stems between the new shoots, for instance in pic 1 just above those two shoots.
       
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      • Verdun

        Verdun Passionate gardener

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        Hiya SimonZ
        Yes you can right down to the ground now. This helps make for more sturdy growth disinclined to flop. I would cut all growth back to the ground but if you prefer to you can prune to where the new shoots appear.
        It will still grow and flower whatever you do :)
         
      • SimonZ

        SimonZ Gardener

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        Update: I cut back down to the ground as suggested. The plant flowered moderately through the summer, a bit shorter than usual but somewhat bushier. It was quite battered by the rain and the front half or so of the clump became quite bowed forward at one point. But even the combination of quite heavy sun and very heavy rain did not result in a vigorous growth. I'm wondering ifanyone has any tips as we go into the autumn? Thanks.
         
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        • Nikolaos

          Nikolaos Super Gardener

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          What is your soil type, Simon? Perhaps an important factor here. Asking because I absolutely love these and want to block/drift plant them both on my allotment and at home.

          Nick
           
        • Verdun

          Verdun Passionate gardener

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          Yes SimonZ
          Do nothing until the spring now......then prune back to a few buds. If you want it to be a little sturdier, less floppy, then you can cut again around early May.
          Don’t feed or water too much, if at all, next summer. Grow it hard :)
          It is a fairly hardy plant
           
        • SimonZ

          SimonZ Gardener

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          Thank you for everyone's input on the above. I'm amazed its a year since my original question, and am now back to the flowerless stems and assuming I should proceed as before, ie wait until spring before cutting anything back?
           
        • SimonZ

          SimonZ Gardener

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          Apologies for not replying Nick, I must have missed this. Its an acidic soil and quite stony - I live in the Calder Valley, Yorks, in a very wet environment, heavy rains and quite high up so winters can be very cold and windy (as can the rest of the year to be honest!)
           
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          • Nikolaos

            Nikolaos Super Gardener

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            Perhaps this article will help. Seems our friend Verdun's advice to prune in early May was spot on for your region, Simon. I planted three in my back garden in Summer but am a tad concerned about them not performing well after reading this because my site doesn't get year-round sunshine! I'm not brave enough to cut them right down this Spring but may do in future years. :heehee:

            "In addition to a site with year-round sunshine, success with perovskia is all about pruning. In our climate the plants come late into leaf. They should be hard-pruned back to a little woody framework, no more than a few inches tall, just as they are beginning to leaf up. This will probably not be until mid-April.

            If plants are pruned too early and too hard they may simply give up and die. If in doubt, it is best to wait until May when they will be in full growth. However, if perovskia is not pruned hard enough the growth can become lax and floppy, particularly when the plants are young. The untidy mess that ensues, while still attractive in a wild and woolly way, does not show the plant off to its best advantage and the flower spikes may get swamped by neighbouring plants."

            How to grow: perovskia

            Nick
             
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            • SimonZ

              SimonZ Gardener

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              Just wondering now whether to stake/tie back this perovskia? It is coming into flower, but some stalks are not flowering, and are very bowed over, due no doubt to a combination of recent excessive rains, and its own heavy weight now that the plant has multiplied. I confess I didn't adhere to the advice above and cut back in May this time - other things in life took over a bit this spring, as I'm sure can be imagined in the current circumstances!DSCF2149.JPGDSCF2136.JPGDSCF2149.JPGDSCF2136.JPGDSCF2149.JPG
               

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