Cutting the seed heads off my Amsonia is the worst gardening job of the season.
And I did that job today.
What makes this the worst gardening job of the season is the sap hidden in those branches.
It looks like ordinary, white glue but its stickier than glue and leaves a stain on whatever it gets on.
I know this from experience. So every year, I put on the same long pants and long-sleeved shirt that I wear for just this occasion. No sense ruining more gardening clothes with that stuff.
Why do I cut off the seed heads? Because in my garden, Amsonia tends to self-sow. And it is one of those prairie plants that sets its roots deep so it is nearly impossible to dig out, even as a little seedling.
I have three clumps of Amsonia in my garden and decided today, I’ll reduce that to two clumps. How? With those deep roots?
One step at a time!
First, I cut one clump down to the ground. The day lilies and other perennials it was smothering—because it also tends to come a bigger, wider clump each year—breathed a sigh of relief and fluttered their leaves in the sunlight once they were freed from the shade of the Amsonia.
Now I need to figure out the best way to dig out the roots and make sure this thing is gone from that location.
And then, depending on how successful I am with removing that one clump, those other two clumps might be banished too.
Then I can designate some other activity the worst gardening job of the season. Who knows what that will be?
I’m getting ready to launch a new series of videos! Starting Thursday, July 1, I’ll be uploading a new video each day to correspond with the chapters in my next book, Digging and Delighted: Live Your Best Gardening Life, which I’m expecting to publish on Tuesday, August 4th. Stay tuned and subscribe to my YouTube channel now so you don’t miss any of the videos!
Sharon Kwilter says
Good job getting it done!
Helen Malandrakis says
I had Amsonia at my previous residence, but I don’t remember the sap. Perhaps, I never deadheaded. <LOL! the plant I hate to deadhead is Pincushion flower. First of all, it is sometimes hard to distinguish spent flowers from buds. The worst is those thing stems that tangle up!
I failed to mulch properly this year and I did have quite a few amsonia seedlings under the clump. But they were easy to pull out? I did move one to the other side of the garden (repeating plants is good, right?) but now I’m thinking maybe I shouldn’t have. Hmmmm.