So, what exactly is the Chelsea Chop? - Blooming Green - Seasonal British Wedding Flowers

So, what exactly is the Chelsea Chop?

For any of you following the RHS Chelsea Flower Show on the BBC, you may have heard Monty Don and Joe Swift talking about the Chelsea Chop. Even if you missed it, you will no doubt have heard the term used by gardeners. The Chelsea Chop took its name from a gardening technique that has been used by gardeners for decades that coincides with the timing of the Chelsea Flower Show…

One of the jobs on the Blooming Green flower plot at this time of year, around the third week in May is, as it so happens, the Chelsea Chop. Over the years we have made a list of the herbaceous perennials which we can cut down to half height to delay flowering. Its one of the many things we do to have flowers continuously available to our customers and florists from March to October.

It is a very simple operation requiring shears or secateurs. We take one third of the patch of the plant in question and cut it to half its height.. It takes away the apical dominance by removing the top growth, encouraging several side shoots to grow. These shoots tend to grow slightly shorter with more flowers than the main stem and flowers come out a little later than the neighbouring uncut plants. 

Here is a list of just some of plants which benefit chop: Nepeta, Helenium, Solidago, Achillea, Michaelmas Daisy,  Mint, Tansy and Perennial Phlox. Why don’t you try the Chelsea Chop on a section of your garden and see the results? Or, visit us for some Pick Your Own, and enjoy the benefits!

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