Garden Tip 119:


We have talked about this before but it is a garden chore with a short window of opportunity, so it is good to have a reminder to get the job done. It is time for the Chelsea Chop. This is a pruning technique for late summer and fall blooming perennials that encourages them to produce more blooms over a longer period of time.

The term Chelsea Chop originated in England because its timing coincides with the famous Chelsea Flower Show in London. The technique simply involves cutting back tall growing perennials by one third to one half their height in late May to early June.

Cutting back some stems of an individual plant and leaving others can increase its flowering time for up to three weeks. If you have more than one plant of a variety, you can cut some entire plants and leave others alone, increasing the flowering time this way. Some perennials that respond well to the Chop include Phlox, Aster, Helenium, Rudbeckia and Echinacea. Do the Chelsea Chop and increase the duration of your own flower show!