Artemisia 'Powis Castle'

Digitalis purpurea Used widely in gardens for the silvery gray foliage, Artemisia Powis Castle does require regular pruning to keep its attractive foliage in good shape.

Without proper pruning it can become a little leggy and loose that attractive mounding habit that we want in the garden.

Pruning is important from first planting, as this forms the structure of the plant for future growth. If left, you can see that growth can become sparse, with dormant buds lower down.

How to Prune Artemisia Powis Castle

Two types of pruning can be used, the annual hard prune, and the spring to summer tidy up

Annual hard pruning

The best time to prune is in early spring as the buds begin to push out, but before new foliage appears. You can cut back 'almost' to the ground. The trick is to look for active buds.

You can do this with some sharp Secateurs. Look on the stems for growth buds and cut back to these, aim for around 5cm (2 inches) for the ground in young plants. As plants get older and woodier you will need to prune higher up.

If you are unsure how hard you can prune, just look for the best buds you can see and prune back to them. In spring more buds will push out lower down and you can them do a secondary pruning to them. You can easily see the buds on growth that is 1 -2 years old in the picture right. If you can leave 2 or 3 of these on a stem you are well on the way to successful pruning.

Cutting back into old wood with no buds evident can either be successful, or it can kill the plant.

Spring or early summer pruning

Once the plant begins to show good growth you can give it a bit of a chop to make the growth even bushier. Try a 1/3 prune back into foliage at this time. This is also a good time to give the plant some fertilizer.

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