Endless Summer -- Dumb Question

mysterypoodle(IA Z4)May 10, 2009

So, Annabelle and Limelight are all leafed out and looking perky and Endless Summer is just showing some green sprouts at the base. Is it safe to assume that the brown and lifeless-appearing canes of last year died during the winter (along with most of my previously-hardy roses and a few fickle perennials) and so can be cut back while we await their replacements, or might they yet be up to something?

Thank you!

Kristi, just north of the arctic circle, in Iowa

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luvahydrangea(Albany, NY 5)

I've been wondering the same thing and today, I just couldn't take looking at it anymore and I cut off all the dead branches. Its such a puny little plant, I hope it ends up being a lot bigger than it looks right now. This is my first ES, so don't neccessarily do what I did as I have no prior experience. :)

Maybe someone else will post a better response.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 6:20PM
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I live in Florida so I have a totally different climate, but my Endless Summer took awhile to leaf out. It started putting out some green and then went into a sort of suspended animation for about a month. It now looks great. It is a slow starter.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 8:31PM
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I'm also inexperienced, but last year (my first spring with ES) I posted the same question. I waited another month or so (into June) before chopping them off. Some of the old dead-looking canes did eventually develop leaves, and some didn't; I'm pretty sure that none of those older canes developed flowers last year, though. This year they leafed out earlier, but I still have some dead-looking wood. I think in colder zones the old wood gets damaged by cold easily. I'm guessing that you might have cut off some foliage, but that in zone 5 most of your flowers will come from new growth.

Like I said, though, I'm by no means an expert on this.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2009 at 10:35PM
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I cut back into a dead looking stem very conservatively and see if there is green around the perimeter of the cut. If not, its dead and I cut a bit deeper. I give each stem a chance to put out new growth from as high up the stem as possible. If there is the slightest chance that the terminal bud is alive, I don't touch that stem at all. Those would be the earliest flowers. Often this produces a lopsided plant, but I don't care. I rarely get a live terminal bud. Maybe 1 in 100.

After doing this for awhile, you will get a feel for how deep to cut right off the bat.

Then when all the leafing out has occurred, I go around and snip off anything I left behind that is truly dead.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 9:25AM
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mehearty(So ME z5a)

I just don't cut the stems on ES. I'm sure I should, but it just gets so full that I never notice if there are dead stems inside.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2009 at 7:05PM
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ostrich(3a AB)

I am in zone 5b/6a and I do not cut back the stems of my ES until late in June, because some of them are really alive and it's hard to tell at this point. Be patient :-)

    Bookmark   May 13, 2009 at 9:51PM
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mehearty(So ME z5a)

I was just thinking of this thread as I happen to notice leaves starting about one inch from the tips of ES this am. You never know what's going on with those sticks. Don't cut too early.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2009 at 1:16PM
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