What Perennials (Not) To Cut Back In The Fall Garden
30.10.2023 - 08:03
/ Teo Spengler
Perennials are plants that live at least two seasons, and some can live for many years. Home gardeners often cut back perennials in fall, but not every perennial needs to be cut back, so it’s good to know what perennials to cut back in fall. Or, more particularly, what perennials not to cut back in fall. Read on for the information on fall pruning.
When your region experiences the first freeze of autumn, you don’t always have to run for the pruners. There may be some good reasons to leave the foliage, flowers, fruit and seedheads to overwinter in the garden and cut them back in spring.
First, leaving some drying perennials in place will make the garden interesting during the winter months. They trap other fallen leaves and, together, offer a blanket of protection from winter cold for the plants’ roots. Finally, the dead plant material also provides food and a place to nest for insects, small mammals, and birds. Any perennials that can assist in these winter goals should be allowed to stay in the garden until spring.
Rather than look for a list of perennials to cut back in fall and a list of what should not be cut back, think of it in terms of the purposes the perennials can serve.
Birds can have a hard time in winter finding seeds or insects to eat. Leaving seedheads helps your feathered friends survive the cold months. Any perennials that have seeds or fruit late in the season are good candidates. Think ornamental grasses, zebra grass, purple coneflowers, coreopsis, sunflower, sedum plants, prairie gay feather, switchgrass, black-eyed Susan and Joe-Pye weed.
Beneficial insects sometimes overwinter in native plants as pupae, caterpillars or eggs. These native plants offer them shelter from predators. Leave these perennials to