Get More Blooms From Your Perennials with the “Chelsea Chop”

Extend the season of blooms in your garden by taking secateurs to your perennials. Using the Chelsea Chop, you can get twice the flowering from your perennials and enjoy your garden twice as much!

What is the Chelsea Chop?

The Chelsea Chop is a pruning method that will delay flowering in summer perennials and create more compact plants. By cutting back all or part of the plant you can get plants that flower longer and later into the year. Doing the Chelsea Chop for Rozanne and other perennials will allow her to flower later and for a longer season.

When Should I Chop?

The Chelsea Chop gets its name from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, which happens in late May, early June and is when the Chelsea Chop should be carried out in your garden. You can also take your shears to some perennials in July to encourage a second wind of flowering.

extend perennial blooms with the chelsea chopEasy How-To

There are two ways to carry out the Chelsea Chop, depending on your courage, and the look you want to achieve. You can cut the entire plant back, or you can trim one-half to one-third of the stems.

Trimming the entire plant will create a more compact plant that will produce more flowers later into the year. To chop this way, simply grab your shears and begin chopping. Cut off about one-third to one-half of the plant.

For plants with multiple stems, or if you want to create a staggering flowering look, chop some stems off the plant and leave others. The part that hasn’t been chopped will flower first and then the chopped part will flower later, prolonging your flowering season.

More Resources

You can do the Chelsea Chop on certain plants to get new foliage and others to get a second flush of flowers. Doing the Chelsea Chop can also help keep taller plants shorter and less likely to grow unruly and fall over.

If you’re a little hesitant to chop away at your lovely plants, there are other seasonal pruning methods you can use to keep your blooms lush and healthy.

How brave are you with your secateurs? Have you tried the Chelsea Chop?

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