cutting flowers off Lambs Ears

mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)June 29, 2011

So turns out my Lambs Ear IS the variety that blooms - only discovered this a few weeks ago a few weeks ago when the buds started. I want to cut the blooms back before they go to seed, but the stalks are so leggy and floppy, it's going to look really strange I think.

For those of you who cut back your Lambs Ear blooms, how far down to you go? Maybe it's kind of late for me to do it now without cutting it completely to the ground? There are new shoots at the base, but I've decided I don't want this plant where I have it - or at least definitely not so much of it and next year, I want to keep it from blooming as I think it looks better when it's more compact.

Here's how it's looking now:

Any suggestions? You can't quite tell in the picture, but the stalks have flopped off to the back and left side so much that it looks sort of bare in the middle of the plant. I also had to cut some off on the right side because they were covering up my ganzia.

Thanks,

Marj

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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Hi Misty,

If you want it to look nice again for the rest of the summer, cut it all the way down to the bottom--about an inch above the soil, or just above the new growth that's close to the bottom where you can see new growth. It'll probably take about a month, but then it'll have all new foliage again, and since they only bloom once, it'll stay that way. It looks like there's new foliage starting to grow in on the Gazania side already, and that's what'll happen all over when you cut it down. It you cut it much higher, the ratty looking stems/foliage that remain will just sit there looking ratty! What's happened to yours is why I don't like the flowering kind!

If you want to move it, you could do it now when you cut it down (but don't overwater if after transplanting if you do it now), or you could wait till it cools in late summer. If you don't want it to bloom next year, watch for it to start to spike--let it go for a couple weeks, and then cut it all the way down right away. That way the pretty new foliage gets going sooner so it looks nice for more of the summer. Now that it's established, I think you're gonna find it's a LOT bigger when it gets going next spring!

When my flowerless one starts to spread a little bit more, I'll be giving small starts away at the swaps!

Happy petting, when it grows back,
Skybird

    Bookmark   June 29, 2011 at 11:09PM
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mstywoods(z5, Westminster, CO)

Thanks for the advice, Skybird! It's too bad it gets so floppy, otherwise I'd probably let it flower. But maybe in another area of my yard it'd be ok. I'll see.

And I'll be looking for some of your flowerless variety at future swaps ;^)

Marj

    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 9:10PM
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