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How & when to prune herbaceous perennial plants

Herbaceous perennials are the chorus line of garden plants. Coming back year after year filling your garden with wonder if pruned correctly. Herbaceous plants provide structure and interest to borders and if well planned can ensure seasons of interest right up until early winter. Whilst they perform with little assistance from us gardeners, careful pruning of herbaceous perennials can help you get the most of out them each year. This guide will help you know when and how to prune pretty much all herbaceous perennial plants.

Presented by Garden Ninja, Manchesters Garden Designer and blogger Lee Burkhill. He's an RHS Award winning Chelsea garden designer and expert panellist on BBC Radio Manchester's Saturday morning garden phone in.

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hi and welcome back to garden ninja today's video guide is all about perennials these are the plants that come ack year after year in your garden

Now I had a few questions of some people on Twitter that said when do I prune these and what do we do with them today's guys going to show you exactly what to do even if you don't want you've got in your garden so come on let's go!

Now whilst there were literally thousands of different perennials this guide is gonna simplify it for you so you don't even need to know the name of the plant you're dealing with so I split the herbaceous perennial pruning into three main groups.

The first group probably the easiest these are the ground cover herbaceous plants and these pretty much do the job for you they will die back in the winter leaving fairly any trace and you probably don't have to do much.

The second group what I call the Brown and crispies so things like your Grasses, Salvias anything that puts on loads of height like Penstemons and then they crisp up over the winter now a lot of people tend to cut them back in autumn when they finish flowering please don't do that I tend to go for the approach leaves and throughout the winter it's not only do they give amazing structure during the barren months they also feed wildlife.


The third and final group are your evergreen herbaceous perennials which again need very little attention other than cutting out some of the dead and dying matter so come on let me show you
how to deal with the brown and crispy group.

So you don't need a few key bits of equipment firstly some nice lightweight gloves to protect your precious fingers secondly a nice pair of clean sharp secateurs to remove all that dead material and then thirdly one of these attractive buckets any will do which is to put all the dead matter in it really couldn't be any simpler with your sharp secateurs we can take the plant back to the base.

So this example here is a Nepeta see there's a little tiny bit of new growth here you want to take it all the way back to the base it's the same here with these Verbena bonariensis they've given a great show this year the time is well and truly off so if left near the winter now I'm just going to nip it back.

Now this Galium here's a really good example of an evergreen ground cover perennial mouthful you don't need to do anything to evergreen perennials like so is it the leaves are a little bit tatty but in the main it looks fine so leave it

So this Alchemilla mollis here is a prime example of a herbaceous perennial usually goes back to the ground still got a few leaves here so it's looking a bit battered so what I'm going to do me now any frost in February and March will finish them off so I'm just going to nip it back and you'll feel there's kind of quite a lot of woody growth down there so that's the crown and that's going to be absolutely fine.

So there we have it my super easy guide as to when and how to prune your perennials but regardless of whether you know what they are if you like this video why not subscribe to our youtube channel or they'll loads more Garden design hints tips and hacks to help you the gardener get the most out of your garden and if you don't know what perennial you're dealing with why not drop a comment below describing it do my best to help you either name it and then tell you when to prune it! I've been Garden Ninja, Happy Gardening
#gardening #pruning #gardentips #gardeninja #herbaceous #pruning

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