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Since the spur flower (Centranthus) sprouts every year from its overwintering organ in the ground, it is usually not necessary to cut the plant, which is about waist-high, during the season. However, this plant is one of the perennials in which a second flowering can be stimulated by a targeted pruning.

By cutting back the spur flower can be stimulated to a second flowering

Spur flowers - easy to care for and undemanding

The representatives of the genus Centranthus, known in this country as spur flowers because of the spurred leaves, are usually hardy with little or no trouble. In addition, the plants with the magnificent red (Centranthus ruber), white or pink inflorescences can be easily propagated by sowing, dividing the roots or growing basal cuttings. Spur flowers do not necessarily have to be cut in view of plant health and compact growth, but faded inflorescences are usually cut off for aesthetic reasons.

Extend the flowering period with the right pruning

The representatives of the genus Centranthus are among the flowering plants in which a second flowering phase can be stimulated into autumn with a targeted pruning at the end of the first flowering period. To do this, remove the withered flowers in summer and also cut back the shoots of the plant with the leaves a bit. But leave a sufficiently large plant base so that the spur flower still has enough leaf mass and thus growth energy for the formation of new flowers. These usually appear in August and continue to bloom until autumn.

Prevent the self-seeding of the spur flower with a targeted cut

In many gardens, the spurge runs wild due to the fact that it can self-seed well under the right conditions. It is true that the genus Centranthus is not a plant that, as an unwanted guest in the garden, would not be relatively easy to uproot and thus contain. However, if the spread of the spur flower is to be prevented from the outset, you can proceed as follows:

  • Wait for the spur flower to fade
  • Cut off the withered flowers as soon as possible
  • if seeds are already ripe: controlled collection with a bag


It is a matter of aesthetic taste whether the above-ground parts of the spur flower should be removed after they have withered in autumn or only in spring. Covering plants cut close to the ground with a layer of mulch as winter protection is not necessary, but can have a positive effect on plant growth as a fertilizer and moisture reservoir.

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