The Q&A Archives: Do I trim?

Question: I planted a Sungold St. John's Wort last year around the middle of summer in a new bed. We had a very dry year. The plant did so so. The leaves were falling off alot. I was watering as needed, which was alot with no rain. This year there is no growth on any of the old branches. There is new growth coming from the bottom though. Is this normal or what? When I bought it last year it had flowers on it. This is a new plant for me and not sure on what to do. Should I trim off the old branches. Please advise on what to do.
Thank you,
Carole Strong

Answer: It sounds as though your St. John's Wort took its time to become established, probably due to transplant stress and droughty conditions. New growth is reassuring, showing that the roots have finally established themselves. I'd trim away the old dead tops of the plant to allow room for healthy new growth. Pruning encourages new growth so in addition to removing all the sad looking foliage, your plant should respond by growing healthy new stems and leaves. It should bloom for you later this year. Enjoy!

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