By the end of Fall, I’m tired of tending to the garden. However, by March, I can’t wait to get out and clean up the garden beds. This is just about the time I can start to see new signs of new life.
So can you prune perennials in the Spring? Yes, you can, maybe you’re a very tidy person, who cannot stand the idea of messy foliage past its prime. Or you’ve been taught that pruning perennials in the fall are the correct way to prepare your garden for next year. So what are you to do? Here are some tips to help you in your Spring cleanup and pruning. In general, you should prune shrubs and trees in late winter or spring. Perennial flowers and some grasses, on the other hand, should be cut back in the fall to keep them looking tidy and to control diseases.
What Plants Do You Cut Back in Spring?
Prune these perennials just before new growth emerges in spring:
How Do You Prepare Perennials for Spring?
Spring Garden Preparation Checklist
- Get your shed in order. Go over your tools.
- Clear out weeds, mulch, and debris.
- Prepare the soil.
- Set up new planters and garden beds.
- Divide perennials like Daylilies.
Choose the Right Tools
- Pruners: Using a good pair of bypass pruners will definitely do the trick. This can be the most time-consuming method but will give you the most precision.
- Hedge Trimmers: This is usually the fastest way to cut back perennials. A reliable hedge trimmer is a great investment if you are looking to save time maintaining your landscape.
Advantages of Cutting Back Perennials in Spring
1. Less Labour- By the time the curse of winter is over, you’ll notice that the foliage from last season’s perennials will be broken down and weak.
2. Root Protection- Leaving the dead stalks and foliage acts as natural insulation for the plant’s roots. This can be valuable added protection during colder winters or winters with less snow cover.
3. Birds and Wildlife- If you’re looking to help out birds and other wildlife then consider leaving perennials untouched until spring.
Many perennials such as Black-Eyed Susan and Coneflower offer animals a food source. Even though the flowers look completely spent they are good sources of food.
4. Some Perennials Have Winter Interest- Some perennials, like ornamental grasses for example, actually have a positive visual impact on your landscape during the winter.
In general, you should prune shrubs and trees in late winter or spring. Perennial flowers and some grasses, on the other hand, should be cut back in the fall to keep them looking tidy and to control diseases.
When grown as a perennial, it can be very sensitive to cold and shouldn’t be cut back until tree buds begin to green up in the spring. When spring arrives, trim it back quite early to 6 to 10 inches, as the plants will bloom in mid to late summer on new growth.
Layer shredded tree leaves, compost, and fertilizer in the garden bed and turn under the soil. You could also dig trenches in the garden, pile in the leaves and compost, and cover with soil. These organic soil amendments will decompose over winter and leave the soil more fertile when spring rolls around.
Many factors influence the reliable return or the final farewell of perennials, depending on each plant’s ability to withstand overly harsh conditions such as drought, insect infestation, late heavy frost, consistently below-normal temperatures can influence the return of some perennials.
Perennials come back for many years, depending on the plant and winter weather conditions. Some perennials are grown like annuals in areas where the winter temperatures are too cold for the roots to survive. They sprout again from the roots next spring
They can be cut back in the fall or spring, without harming the plant’s bloom cycle either way. As cool weather begins to settle in, Black-Eyed Susan will begin to fade
Trimming should be done immediately after flowering stops in summer, but no later than August 1. Do not prune in fall, winter, or spring or you could be cutting off new buds. Tip-pruning the branches as leaves emerge in spring can encourage multiple, smaller flower heads rather than fewer larger flower heads.
Some perennials are evergreen, meaning they don’t die back at the end of the season. They stay green all year. These perennials should not be cut back. Instead, just prune away any dead foliage that appears throughout the season. Some popular evergreen perennials are Liriope, Hellebore, Blue Fescue, Red Hot Poker, and Hardy Geraniums.
Can you prune perennials in the Spring was the featured question in this article. We hope that some of your questions were answered.
Also, I found In this article from The Royal Horticultural Society the writer states, “Cutting back herbaceous perennials during autumn restores order and tidiness to the garden. However, this removes potential winter interest, in the form of height and structure, plus food and habitat sources for wildlife.” Just a thought for you gardeners.