July is the month for pruning
Early-summer flowering shrubs are due their annual prunes about now. Treat Deutzia, Philadelphus and Wiegela the same way: cut out the old flowering shoots (they will look quite ragged with side shoots) and leave the straight shoots: these are the ones that will bloom next year. If it has been a good flowering year you might want to leave some of the old shoots for bulk!
Sometimes it pays to be ruthless – if you cannot see any more buds on your Lupins, chop them back to the base now – leaves, stems and all – and you should be rewarded with extra flowers later on, as well as attractive fresh foliage.
Other perennials which will benefit from the ‘Hampton Hack’ (as opposed to the ‘Chelsea Chop’) are Polemonium (Jacob’s Ladder) and the soft herbaceous Salvias, such as Caradonna, East Friesland and May Night – the likes of Salvia Hot Lips are treated differently.
If you cannot see any more buds or flowers, other perennials that should be cut back to just above ground level include Delphiniums, Geraniums, Geums, Leucanthemums, Tanacetums and Veronicas, amongst others.
For healthy plants and helpful advice head to Bridge Farm Plants at Corn Craft, Monks Eleigh.
Open 10am-4pm Weds-Sun.