Reasons to Choose the Chelsea Chop

A grassy plant.

To control the height and blooms of your perennials, consider adding the Chelsea Chop to your spring maintenance routine.

It’s named after the Chelsea Garden show in England that happens in late May, when this technique is often used. The Chop mimics animal browsing, like deer and rabbit, which is why these plants are adapted to bounce back after an early season trimming.

Here are some reasons you may want to incorporate the Chelsea Chop into your garden:

Keep Plants Short

This is important for boulevard gardens where you need to keep sightlines clear. This is also useful if you want to keep plants near the edge of a garden or walkway shorter and more contained, or if you find a plant is shading out others in your garden. You can also chop just a few of the plants in a clump, such as those at the front of a garden bed.

Create Bushier Plants With Stronger Stems

Some native perennials can get tall and leggy by the end of summer and flop over. Staking can be time consuming and unattractive. Cutting back some stems of a plant can lead to a stronger stem that is less likely to fall over. If you want to keep the overall height of the plant, trim back some stems that will be stronger and help support the rest of the plant.

Delay Some Blooms and Extend Bloom Time

Extend your blooming period by cutting back some stems and leaving others to bloom at their normal time. You can also cut back all the stems to delay the entire patch to coordinate it blooming with other plants or, so you won’t miss your favourite flower if you know you will be away when it would normally bloom.

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