Monday, August 10, 2009

How to Prune the Rose Campion

This is the second season I have a rose campion (Lychnis coronaria) on the lot. It is nestled along the left edge of the backyard bed. This plant came to us from a co-worker’s daughter’s garden early summer of last year. The plant offers a burst of five-petaled magenta flowers on silvery, felted stalks. 

The rose campion has been blooming since the beginning of June. I do not know how I should dead-head it once the blooms are spent. I’ve read the plant will self-sow profusely if you let it go to seed. It’s just right for it’s space, so I’d rather it not spread too much. But, I also found out rose campion is considered a biennial or short-lived perennial. So, I suppose letting the plant spit a few seeds first would be a good idea to ensure this pretty plant blooms again next year. I also read gardeners will continuously deadhead the plant until the end of the blooming season where they will then leave the last few flower stalks to go to seed.

Anyway, to the pruning... The spent flowers can be deadheaded as they fade, allowing the other buds on mult-branched stem to bloom. When all buds are completely finished on a stalk, most sites recommend cutting the stalks all the way back to the base.

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