Cutting back Nepeta?

jitsmith(5)July 23, 2014

I have a first yr Nepeta Six Hills Giant fm Bluestone that was planted late Apr, first bloom late May, still flowering pretty well today.

Care instructions say cut by 2/3 in July for re-bloom in August. I'd love to have this in bloom late but wonder if there is any point in cutting it now, esp since it's still going strong? I've held off cutting because of continuing bloom and a newbie's "don't mess with something that's growing well" feelings.

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lepages

I have Nepeta Walkers Low. I usually only cut it back if it starts looking ratty and or the flowers fade to that washed out grey color. I find that once cut back the plants produce a flush of new growth but they don't always flower. I cut mine back a few weeks ago and the plants look great, nice, neat and fluffy but the re-bloom is light.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 11:05AM
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rosiew(8 GA)

I cut mine back about a month ago. Full of re-blooms now. Delayed doing it because the bees love it so much and seem to work to get every last drop of nectar.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 1:38PM
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gardenweed_z6a

I have several Nepeta 'Walkers Low' and don't ever cut them back. They bloom non-stop all summer, the bees are on them constantly so I see no point in cutting them back.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2014 at 7:41PM
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jitsmith(5)

Thx y'all, you pretty much confirmed my thought that I'd missed cut-back time if I was inclined. Since my blooms still look good I'm going to let it run.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 11:16AM
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aachenelf z5 Mpls

I was hoping I would fine this thread again.

Last year I didn't cut back my 'Blue Wonder' and it bloomed non-stop until frost. This year I cut it back in late June because it was looking a bit ratty after a heavy flowering. Well, it grew back quickly, but I've barely had a flower since.

Not doing that again.

Kevin

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 11:36AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I did both this year cut back and didn't cut back and not happy with eitherâ¦lol. That is with the Walker's Low version. Oh well, I still like the plant, I guess. I'm actually thinking of cutting back the Nepeta that I didn't do already, just to get a neater look for the rest of the season.

One of the reasons I didn't cut it back a lot earlier was because it was always covered with bees every time we were near it.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 6:26PM
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karin_mt(4 MT)

Huh, Kevin, I can't even imagine that cutting back a nepeta would cause it to cease blooming. I thought they just went on and on and on no matter what. Sorry to hear that and thank you for sharing your experience. I will continue my practice of not cutting back mine. (Originally out of laziness, but now I can cite a reason not to!)

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 7:06PM
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nuggetandnibbles

It might be the warmer clime in VA but my Walkers Low flopped open in the middle (after blooming profusely and buzzing with tons of bees). It was lookin' kinda ratty so I cut it back (before July 4th). The result was like lepages - looks way better neat n fluffy even if rebloom is on the light side!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 10:55PM
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jitsmith(5)

Keep in mind that mine is 1st yr plant, in inadvertently over-fertilized soil, and growing thru a 12" grid set about 6" high.

After posting I decided to let it bloom. It is still setting flower on the tips of the branches, still a good blue color - but the bees don't pay as much attention. It flopped, blocking some other plants - it's in a 4' wide border - but never got ratty looking. I want some blue in that area of the border, so I'm happy w/the decision.

But - it sprouted some good secondary growth, from the center, that looks like the description of trimmed-back growth, greener and fluffy, with light color just starting now. Note - we've had a cool wet Spring and Summer (for Denver) this year, may have affected it.

Both sprawl and upright are flowering, sorta the best of both worlds. Next yr plan on larger grid, set higher to try to hold the flop, and will only trim for appearance or to unblock other plants; no idea what growth will be like but hoping for a "shock of wheat" look.

May not be a good fit in the border - already planning to move 2 Achillea out to front yard because they take up so much room - but I'll give it another year. Thx for sharing all the info.

Bob

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 12:50PM
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