Artemesia 'Silver Mound' looking scruffy..any remedy?

prairiemoon2 z6 MAJuly 30, 2008


I have three Artemesia 'Silver Mound' that are planted along side Dianthus. I can see I didn't give things enough room and they are bumping up against each other a bit, but still, I think they should be looking great with the steady amounts of rain we have been having and good drainage and full sun that they have. But they are getting a little leggy and floppy and opening up in the middle. I know I killed one once, by cutting it back just about to the ground and I don't want to do that. Is there anything else I can do?


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lindac(Iowa Z 5/4)

They do that....and they will eventually crawl into the middle of other plants.
That's why I pulled them out and don't grow them any more.
You can diminish the flopping open thing by cutting them back in the spring....but I don't like the way they smell.
Sorry, not my favorite plant, if you need soft gray plants, try lambs ears.
Linda C

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 7:35PM
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cosmolover(5 Downest Maine)

I have a couple silver mounds and I actually just cut mine back last week as they were getting really floppy. I cut mine to about and inch from the ground and it already has new greenery coming up. Also, you can dig up the mound and divide after cutting back too as I find the smaller plants do better and don't flop so bad. I have always had them and love them.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 8:59PM
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There's still enough time to give Silvermound a "haircut" and have it regenerate quite nicely. Like cosmo, I cut one back to within an inch two weeks go and it'll be a nice small mound again quite shortly. I divide them fairly often and the divisions never miss a beat.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2008 at 10:04PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

lindac - if it creeps, it's not Silver Mound... SilverMound doesn't creep at all.

It does need regular haircuts though. Anytime mine gets more than 3-4" tall, I whack it back to 2-3" and that keeps it a nice low mound all summer. I probably have to give them a haircut once every 6 weeks or so.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 7:26AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I was out looking at it this morning and the lower 4 inches or so are bare. If I cut it to bare stems...?? That is what I did the last time and there was no regrowth and it never came back in the spring. Am I just supposed to trim it to where there is foliage? I am picturing how awful that would look.


    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 10:12AM
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It's been MY experience with Silver Mound that it can be cut back to any point you want. When they are really flopping, merely cutting off an inch or two all the way around won't help it much. If you feel a little timid with it, cut it back to the 4" mark where the bare stems start. Yes, it will look bare for a coule of weeks, but then the new growth will start and fill in the bare sticks and mound up again.

I've always had mine in full sun, decent but not overly rich soil with good drainage. They get good sized and flopping is minimal. I've put divisions here and there around the gardens, and any that tend to get shaded by other plants, don't mound as well and reach for the sun. So, they end up back in open ground.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 12:21PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Thanks all...Woody, I think that is a good idea to keep them short. I will try that next year. I have four of them, so I may try to cut one all the way back again and cut the other one back keeping some growth on it and see how they do. I was just remembering that the one I lost, I bet I cut it back too late in the fall.


    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 1:42PM
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ladychroe(z6 NJ)

In the Well-Tended Perennial Garden, Tracy recommends cutting down half the plant at a time if a hard haircut seems like it might be too stressful for the plant. Cut down one side of the plant, wait for it to grow back, and then cut down the other side.

I've done this to plants with bare legs and it worked well. I don't have any experience with Artemesia, though.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 2:56PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Thanks ladychroe...I cut half the plants back today and will wait for that side to fill in before cutting the other side. I liked that idea!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2008 at 4:36PM
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