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September Amateur Gardener Tips

Pruning Cordyline


Lilies which have been grown in pots should have their seed heads removed once the petals have all dropped.

The bulbs will waste a great deal of energy developing large seed heads and, if left in place, you may only get a small insipid flower or none at all next year.

Pruning Liliumsclick for larger image
Pruning Liliumsclick for larger image
Pruning Liliumsclick for larger image
Pruning Liliumsclick for larger image

Drying Hydrangeas

Drying hydrangeasclick for larger image

Hydrangea flowers start to change colour prior to going dormant and brown.    White hydrangeas take on a greenish hue while some of the blues take on purple streaks.    If you cut these flowers and hang them upside down to dry out slowly these colours will be retained.    An excellent flower arrangement for the winter.


Bare Nerine Stemsclick for larger image


Amaryllis belladonna and Nerine bulbs spring into flower as the harbingers of Autumn.    They have no leaves at this time of the year so the flower spikes are a surprise.    The bulbs tend to rise up to the surface and can be split and divided after flowering every few years.    The bulbs are tenderish so a Winter mulching is advisable.


snuggling up succulentsclick for larger image
taking a cuttingclick for larger image
taking a cuttingclick for larger image
Succulents in containers which have been outside all Summer e.g. Aeoniums, Echeverias and Agaves should be either moved into a frost free greenhouse or “snuggled” up in a sunny sheltered spot in the garden, out of prevailing cold winds.
As a precaution losses in a severe Winter you can take off some offsets or cuttings and pot in small pots of gritty free draining compost and keep indoors on windowsills.


removing side shootsclick for larger image

Phyllostachys nigra and aurea (Bamboo) should have produced new culmes up to 20ft. high.  If you wish to clean up the stems to make them look nicer - this is quite easy to do whilst the growth is still soft.   Just pull off the new thin side shoots to about 6ft high.

Taking semi-ripe cuttings

Taking semi-ripe cuttings in September is a great way to propagate more plants. This can successful for : Plumbago, fuchsia, kerria, roses, weigela.


Echiums will be finishing flowering now and setting seed.    The old flower stalks may be up to 6 feet tall and slowly go black and die off.    Do not be in too great a hurry to cut them down and remove them because they self sow seed copiously as the plants die.    Echiums are biennial plants and die after flowering in the second year but will self regenerate themselves very easily.

Echium stallks