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By Dotty42

County Durham, United Kingdom Gb

I have 2 perennial wallflowers and I'm not sure if they should be cut back like other perennials. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

On plant Erysimum bicolor



Hi Dotty. Definitely not! Perennial Wallflowers will not recover from a hard prune. They are really short lived sub-shrubs and you need to take cuttings every two years or so to keep them going and looking healthy or else you end up with a coarse twiggy plant that will eventually die out completely.

If yours is starting to head this way, take cutting this year of strong, none flowering new growth, approx 6ins long with lower leaves removed in August. Gritty compost mix with several placed around the inside edge of a terracotta pot. Water, then cover with polythene bag (preferably milky translucent) and seal with rubber band. Place out of direct sun but good light and they should root in about three weeks. Perhaps snip a couple of small slits in the polythene so they don't get too humid and rot though.

15 Mar, 2010


This plant is described as a short lived perennial in my RHS plant book. No comment on cutting back is given. You could try trimming one plant and sparing the other. Then you may find which works best. It is suggested that cuttings are taken from softwood in summer to keep them going. ////marvellous that they survived the winter.(: Sorry when I started typing there were no answers. A much more expert person was there when I clicked submit!!!!!!

15 Mar, 2010


Can I just add that they are dead easy to grow from cuttings, and when I do them, I dont even add the polythene bag!

15 Mar, 2010


Many thanks to you all for your answers to my question. Really surprised that I got answers back so quickly!! What a brilliant website. The plants are starting to look a bit twiggy so I will definitely try taking cuttings from them. By the sound of it you don't even need to use rooting powder? Does it have to be taken in August though, it's just we have our house for sale and may not be here then, or is that being too hopeful?!! Thanks again.

16 Mar, 2010


You probably can take cuttings at other times, however what you will find is that the shoots will be tougher being last years having not produced any new shoots yet for this year. These would be perfect taken in late summer as they are new, yet semi-ripe so not too soft (rotting) or too hard, like yours that will be much more tricky to root. I think hormone rooting powder might just be an option for you in this case. Good luck anyway, and with the house move too.

16 Mar, 2010


Many thanks Fractal. You certainly seem to know your stuff about plants. I will wait as long as I can to take some cuttings from the wallflowers. Who knows we could still be here in the winter!! Thanks again.
By the way I love the pics of your Hellebores. One of my favourite plants.

16 Mar, 2010

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