Gardening Magazine

"Prune in June" Series - Boltonia

By John Markowski @jmarkowski0
I'll never forget the day back in 2001, when the following book arrived in the mail:

And this is no exaggeration ... it completely changed my entire outlook on gardening. Within minutes of opening and reading this book, I discovered that working with plants was a true art form.
"The Well Tended Perennial Garden" by Tracy DiSabato-Aust is beyond a "must" for all gardeners/plant lovers (take a peak to the right in the sidebar and you can order a copy pretty cheap through Amazon). I re-read every word of this gem each and every year and have the intention of faithfully following all of the pruning/pinching/deadheading/deadleafing advice. Yet, I never fulfill that promise ...
By now, I just about have this book memorized and shame on me for not taking advantage of that knowledge. As the spring progresses into summer, I get lazy and complacent and by the time mid summer rolls around, it's too late to do anything about it. But not any more my friends.
I'm creating my own pruning series here at ONG titled "Prune in June". That title comes from the fact that a majority of the pruning tasks recommended by Tracy should occur in June. Plus, who can resist a catchy title that rhymes? Sweet.
This is the year I stay on top of the pruning tasks and capture the results of what I've done in June and how it  will hopefully, positively impact the growing results of these plants in August, September and beyond.
To kick things off, I am starting with my Boltonia 'Pink Beauty' plants:
They have some fantastic late summer blooms:                

But without fail, fall over once they are in full bloom:

As my garden has matured over the years, these perennials do get some support from neighboring shrubs/grasses, but there is clearly room for improvement:

So let's be friggin proactive this year.
Tracy suggests cutting back Boltonia by a 1/2 to 2/3 in early June. I'll split the difference and document the results as the season progresses.
Here is what they look like as of today:

And how they look now, post haircut:

As mentioned before, I will closely monitor the results as we get deeper into the summer and will be sure to share those results, good or bad, with you all.
Coming soon ... Joe Pye Weed.

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