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LOV thinning, question

Posted by arcy mn zn3/4 (My Page) on
Tue, May 22, 07 at 11:46

I am wondering if anyone knows the answer to this. If I break off the Lillies of the Valley,above ground, and not dig out the roots does it slow its spreading down or speed it up? I was digging last night and it appears where I dug and planted hosta last year, making the soil less dense, the LOV's really spread to that area. After bloom I go through and thin them out for water saving and looks, they get too thick, but I got to thinking I needed to really do a severe thinning and my brain started to wonder which way would be the most beneficial, for the rest of my garden. I have been thinning ostrich ferns the same way, breaking them off at the crown, and am amazed it does not kill the crown. Some are so close to other things I do not want to dig and disturb eveythings' roots.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: LOV thinning, question

When a plant is cut back it goes into overdrive to survive, and mostly in the area you just cut it back. Plants are programmed to survive. Anytime you want to restrict a plant get out a shovel and dig down as deep as the roots go (plus a little more) and remove as much of the roots as you want. If you don't want the plants you just dug out I am sure if you put it out at your curb with a note of what it is and say "FREE" it will be gone by the next day if not sooner. Or if you have a Master Gardener program or Garden Club in your county I am sure they will be more than glad to take most plants off of your hands.

We live in the woods and my problem is deer eating the leaves around this time. This is our 4th year and I've noticed even though the deer eat many plants down to the ground every year most seem to come back with a vengence the following year...especially this year it's the third year for most.

So in conclusion, you are going to have to dig out the roots of the LOV and ferns if you want to restrict their spread. Wish I lived closer I would gladly take the plants off your hands. Another way to determine which is the best way to restrict plants is to search the plant on the internet followed by "maintain" or "prune", this will also tell you when is the best time.

RE: LOV thinning, question

Thank-you! your information is very logical. You are right I should look the plants up. I am part lazy and partly I like to hear real life experiences more than what the "experts profess". My experience is often different than what the books claim. I do give away tons of ferns, and other things. I should pot them up and sell them for a few bucks, but that is not as much fun. I have never given LOV's away, because they can become a pest and I don't want the responsibility. Our Master gardeners just had their sale. I was mortified to hear they sold my neighbor some Soloman's Seal for $4.00!! We have it growing wild in the woods all around us. I have spent hours transplanting it. I should share more with her, but her kids are NASTY, and I cannot go over there.

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