Don’t be Afraid to Cut Back Alchemilla mollis – Lady’s Mantle

Flowering Alchemilla mollis spilling onto Yorkstone garden path - © GAP Photos/Paul Debois

Flowering Alchemilla mollis spilling onto Yorkstone garden path – © GAP Photos/Paul Debois

Alchemilla mollis, or Lady’s mantle as it is commonly known, is a very useful perennial due to its unfussy nature and attractive pale green leaves which look so pretty against other plants. It is a particularly proficient ground-cover plant, and along with its frothy yellow flowers, it looks lovely spilling over a pathway or softening the front of a border.

However, it can be quite invasive – often shading out other plants around it and growing at an alarming speed in the summer. It also self-seeds very freely, so expect to see seedlings pop up around the garden as the growing season progresses – which can then be dug up and moved to other parts of the garden as free plants.

The best way to deal with its speedy growth is just to cut it back midsummer, or when it looks unruly. Lady’s Mantle actually responds well to this, pushing up fresh new leaves very quickly during the growing season, and often a second flush of flowers.

Cutting back Alchemilla mollis - © GAP Photos

Cutting back Alchemilla mollis – © GAP Photos

You can be quite brutal with this perennial when you cut it back, cutting stems right to the base. Take as much back as required to leave space for other plants, as well as damaged and tired looking leaves.

As well as cutting back when required through the summer, you may want to do a final tidy up in the autumn, or cut back in the early spring as fresh growth starts to appear.

Cutting back Alchemilla mollis - lady's mantle -  after it has finished flowering - © GAP Photos/Jonathan Buckley

Cutting back Alchemilla mollis – lady’s mantle – after it has finished flowering – © GAP Photos/Jonathan Buckley

Happy snipping!