Turtlehead

(Question)

During fall cleanup how far back can I cut?

(Answer)

How lovely that you have a Turtlehead or Chelone to give you a splash of colour in the late summer. Have you tried bringing them in as cut flowers? They should last at least four weeks indoors with a bit of tender loving care.

Chelone is a perennial wildflower that likes damp soil in zones 4 – 7. Colours range from pink to purple to white. It has a rhizome root system.

Since Chelone is a perennial, feel free to leave the stems for the winter as winter interest in the snow and seed food for your local birds.  Then you can cut them down to the ground in the spring. Any growth is happening under ground during this time period and new stems will grow from the rhizomes in the spring.   Alternately, if you like to clean up all vegetation in your garden in the fall, you can cut the stems to the ground.  This will not damage or inhibit new growth in the spring.