ICanGarden Suggestions:

pruning perenials


Messages posted to thread:

From:Date:Zone:
Ron12-Apr-04 09:08 AM EST 6a   
Donna12-Apr-04 02:39 PM EST 3a   
jaxxx17-Apr-04 10:06 AM EST   
Catherine20-Apr-04 03:42 AM EST 3b   
Edith22-Apr-04 04:01 PM EST 5   
Nancy30-Apr-04 08:41 PM EST 5   
Patricia 01-May-04 09:31 AM EST 5   
eileen zone 701-May-04 05:13 PM EST 7   
Jim Lerette19-Jul-04 04:25 PM EST 6a   
B.'25-Jul-04 06:04 PM EST 5   
Patricia25-Jul-04 08:35 PM EST 5   
B.;26-Jul-04 02:58 PM EST 5   
D07-Aug-04 05:06 AM EST   
Doris07-Aug-04 05:11 AM EST 6   
Patricia14-Aug-04 06:37 PM EST 5   
crazymom18-Aug-04 06:46 AM EST 3b   
Sylvia18-Aug-04 12:15 PM EST 5b   
Joan20-Aug-04 07:28 PM EST 5   
Alice25-Aug-04 10:13 PM EST 3b   
dm27-Aug-04 10:53 PM EST 3   
cailin27-Aug-04 10:59 PM EST 3a   
crazymom30-Aug-04 01:19 PM EST 3b   
julie18-Sep-04 02:38 AM EST 5b   
sologirl01-Oct-04 11:19 AM EST 6a   
Wendy P01-Oct-04 01:05 PM EST 7   
Ceedub12-Nov-04 10:04 AM EST 6a   


Subject: pruning perenials
From: Ron
Zone: 6a
Date: 12-Apr-04 09:08 AM EST

Can most perenials be cut down in the spring? such as Astillbe, galardia, monkshood, silver mound, I noticed on one of the other questions, that Hydrangea depends on the type whether you prune back or not unfortunatly I do not know the kind I have.


Subject: RE: pruning perenials
From: Donna
Zone: 3a
Date: 12-Apr-04 02:39 PM EST

Most can Ron, very few perennials that cannot be cut down...if they look dead and you see new growth coming from the soil area, then this is a good indication that you can cut off the old dead material. I have always found it better to cut my garden back in the fall rather than spring because with our snow cover and the old growth - sometimes the new growth gets rotted before you can get to it.

Now as to shrubs...always a good idea if in doubt to look at where the new growth is coming from. If you see dead stems, then cut those back...usually shrubs that bloom in the spring are cut back after they have bloomed...because if you prune them now, you might just cut off this years bloom...


Subject: RE: pruning perenials
From: jaxxx
Zone:
Date: 17-Apr-04 10:06 AM EST

can you cut down lamb's ear


Subject: RE: pruning perenials
From: Catherine
Zone: 3b
Date: 20-Apr-04 03:42 AM EST

Should you cut back the clematis vine on the trellis from last year? Someone told me not to. Does the vine grow new foilage each year?


Subject: moving cedar trees
From: Edith
Zone: 5
Date: 22-Apr-04 04:01 PM EST

I want to move cedar trees, globe trees and those spreading low cedars, any ideas for doing this. Will I kill them by doing this?


Subject: RE: pruning perenials
From: Nancy
Zone: 5
Date: 30-Apr-04 08:41 PM EST

Catherine,

The answer on your clematis depends on when it blooms.

If it blooms in the spring, just give it a light pruning, and cut out the dead stalks. If it blooms in summer (late June/July) you can trim it back to about 4 feet or so. Clematis that bloom in the fall can be cut down to the ground in early spring.


Subject: RE: pruning perenials
From: Patricia (iris1@rogers.com)
Zone: 5
Date: 01-May-04 09:31 AM EST

For Jaxxx who asked: "Can you cut down Lamb's Ears?" I do not cut this down, here's what I do: ruffle the dead foliage with your hands, the dead stuff will fall off and (hopefully) you will see new little green shoots poking up. This plant hates wet feet, make sure it is planted in a spot where it gets really good drainage, this is the best way I know to get it to survive from year to year. So, some sand and gravel mixed in with the soil, and pick a spot where water does not settle. Good luck!


Subject: RE: pruning perenials
From: eileen zone 7
Zone: 7
Date: 01-May-04 05:13 PM EST

I would like some info re prunning Heather after blooming. I have been told to shear it lightly. What do you think. Thanks Eileen


Subject: RE: pruning perenials
From: Jim Lerette
Zone: 6a
Date: 19-Jul-04 04:25 PM EST

the people who lived in my house before me had green hands, so many plants so little knowledge. There is a plant that I was told is lanmb's ear, but it looks very different from what I have out back, it leaves are much larger and the flowers come off of large shots with each shot having multiple white flowers per stock, what is it? Please


Subject: RE: pruning perenials
From: B.'
Zone: 5
Date: 25-Jul-04 06:04 PM EST

I everyone,I am new at this I found this web site as I was surfing.....So glad I did. Can anyone tell me if I can cut back my Irises in the Fall. If so how far back do I cut them.This is my first year growing them


Subject: RE: pruning perenials
From: Patricia (iris1@rogers.com)
Zone: 5
Date: 25-Jul-04 08:35 PM EST

Hello "B" - Yes, it is very important to cut your iris foliage down to 4 or 4 1/2 inches in the fall. Also remove any dead leaves and other stuff around the plant and (here is the important thing) you should NOT compost this but bag it and throw out. Why? because the point of cleaning up iris foliage is to prevent pests, especially the iris borer, from wintering near your plants. So you can see why you should not hang on to the material that you have cut off. Good luck - I love irises too.


Subject: RE: pruning perenials
From: B.;
Zone: 5
Date: 26-Jul-04 02:58 PM EST

Thanks Patricia for the help. I Love Irises so much that I ordered a rainbow of colors from Michigan Bulb Co. I have many problems in my flower garden, it seems I plant Hostas and the bugs eat them up in no time, I plant Black Eye Susans and Tulips ect, if the deer don't pull them up by the roots, then the rabbits eat the tender bubs. It seems that I plant just to feed the insects and the wild animals. I don't want to use anything that will kill the animals, the insects I don't give a hoot about.I am at wits end about what to do. I haven't been garening that long but I have just about had enough of all the pest who love to eat my flowers and leafs. I see beautiful gardens all the time and never see anyone tending to them. I wonder what their secret is. If you know please let me know......


Subject: RE: pruning perenials
From: D
Zone:
Date: 07-Aug-04 05:06 AM EST


Subject: RE: pruning perenials
From: Doris
Zone: 6
Date: 07-Aug-04 05:11 AM EST

I have heard that blood meal will keep the rabbits away. Apparently they do not like the smell because they are vegetable eaters. I am giving up on hosta because of the slugs eating them.


Subject: RE: pruning perenials
From: Patricia (iris1@rogers.com)
Zone: 5
Date: 14-Aug-04 06:37 PM EST

Dear B: To avoid gardening just to feed the bugs and deer: some types of hostas don't get eaten by slugs. These are the ones where the leaves are very thick and corrugated (bumpy) For instance: Hosta Sieboldiana Elegans, Frances Williams or Love Pat (I like that one because it has my name!) So, choose hostas varieties with extra thick leaves. Replace tulips with daffodils - most critters leave them alone because the bulbs are poisonous. Now, the last bit of advice, take a close look at those "beautiful gardens" you have seen - talk to the gardener, ask them what kinds of plants they are growing. Hey! there are deer and slugs in their neighbourhood too, but they are probably growing plants that are "bug and deer proof". Depending on whether your garden is sunny or shady, nursery people should be able to tell you what plants are best for you. Above all: do not despair! You can achieve a nice garden, believe it!


Subject: RE: pruning perenials
From: crazymom (crazymom@faithmail.com)
Zone: 3b
Date: 18-Aug-04 06:46 AM EST

Will someone tell me if hollyhocks are true perennials or just self sowing annuals?


Subject: RE: pruning perenials
From: Sylvia
Zone: 5b
Date: 18-Aug-04 12:15 PM EST

They are perennials called bi-ennials as far as I know. They will also self seed.


Subject: RE: pruning perenials
From: Joan
Zone: 5
Date: 20-Aug-04 07:28 PM EST

I agree with Sylvia.


Subject: watering weeping birch
From: Alice
Zone: 3b
Date: 25-Aug-04 10:13 PM EST

We have a 30-40 foot weeping birch in our lawn.For years we have just watered it when the weather has been dry and there never has been a problem. But this year the top growth looks quite spindly compared to the rest. We water until freeze-up.What could be wrong with our beautiful tree? We live in south-central Alberta.


Subject: RE: pruning perennials
From: dm
Zone: 3
Date: 27-Aug-04 10:53 PM EST

Crazymom, hollyhocks and other biennials are plants that grow foliage the first year, and flower, set seed and die the second year. Sometimes, if the seeds germinate early enough in the spring, the plant will flower in its first year. If you let some seed form and drop to the ground each year, the plants will appear to be perennials. Birds and the wind will carry some seeds to unexpected places! Baby hollyhocks are easy to transplant to different locations.


Subject: RE: pruning perennials
From: cailin
Zone: 3a
Date: 27-Aug-04 10:59 PM EST

One of the best references I've found that explains how and when to prune perennials is a book called The Well-Tended Perennial Garden by Tracy Disabato-Aust. I first discovered it at our local library. The information was so good that I ended up buying my own copy. It not only talks about pruning in the fall/spring, but also about pruning for height control or to extend the flowering season (not just by dead-heading). Well worth looking for.


Subject: RE: pruning perenials
From: crazymom (crazymom@faithmail.com)
Zone: 3b
Date: 30-Aug-04 01:19 PM EST

Thanks for the hollyhock info!

Crazymom


Subject: RE: pruning perenials
From: julie
Zone: 5b
Date: 18-Sep-04 02:38 AM EST

Ihave a pond and my plants in and around the area are growing great. The problem is they are doing to good. I would like to transplant some of them( russian sage, mums lavender and missuroui primrose) The problem they are all in full bloom and I don't want to cut back and lose the bloom, to get healthy root growth before winter sets in. My frost date is Oct. 15 but with the cooler than average weather this year I'm scared to make a move. If i do, how far back should I cut the russian sage? It is now almost 5 ft tall. Thanks for any info Julie


Subject: RE: pruning perenials
From: sologirl
Zone: 6a
Date: 01-Oct-04 11:19 AM EST

Nancy ... i read your advice re pruning clematis. thing is, i planted 2 or 3 different ones to climb an arch ... and they all bloom at different times, but i have no idea what is what on the arbor. the main one was one that said not to prune it since flowers will grow on old wood. but now it looks horrible - so much of it looks dead - but sometimes it isn't really dead. and it's too crowded. what should i do.? i'd like to cut it ALL back. Would that mean i won't get blooms next year?


Subject: RE: pruning perennials
From: Wendy P
Zone: 7
Date: 01-Oct-04 01:05 PM EST

Julie...as regards moving your perennials: IF you can get a huge rootball you can move them now without losing their current bloom. They won't look quite as nice as they do now, though. You must water very well first - even a major soaking the day before. Then CAREFULLY dig up as much soil as you can without disturbing any roots. Have your replanting hole already prepared. A little bone meal or RootBooster can help. Water in very well when done replanting. Do not allow to dry out. If your frost date is soon anyway, the flowers should at least last you the next few weeks. When the flowers fade, trim to above the crown and then mulch with dry leaves, straw, etc. Moving them now rather than waiting till spring will give them a huge headstart. Your other option is to simply wait until the plants have gone dormant. Most perennials can be moved as long as the soil is workable and you properly plant the rootball - no root above the surface.

As I'm on the West Coast, I like to prune my woody perennials [perovskia -russian sage] and grasses in spring. The dead stuff on top looks interesting over the winter. Perovskia can be pruned in spring to about 6 or 8 inches. This will give a more stable base for next year's growth to stem from.

With most of the "cottage garden" style perennials [rudbeckia, echinacea, achillea, liatris, penstemen, shasta daisy] I like to trim down the flower stalks when the blooms begin to fade. If done early in the growing season - depending on the maturity of the plant - I'll usually get a second flush of bloom. If you want to save seed or dry the seedheads [like echinacea] leave them be. Cut them down and save them before they break apart and the wet of fall begins.

I used to work at Minter Country Garden - way too long ago now :] and progressed to being in charge of the perennial section. In spring I'd get to pull the "sleeping" plants from the greenhouse; sort them by sun or shade and then arrange them alphabetically - by Latin. I loved it!! Even though I do all sorts of gardening, the perennials are still my favorite and I've managed to amass a fairly large and varied selection. Boy do I miss ordering in the cool stuff and getting first dibs as product came in. Thanks for the memories, Brian!


Subject: RE: pruning perenials
From: Ceedub
Zone: 6a
Date: 12-Nov-04 10:04 AM EST

Catherine, Nancy and sologirl, regarding cutting back your clematis. My clematis bloom from June to September and this is how I prepare my clematis for winter. I dig down around the base of the plant about 4-6 inches. Then I cut all of the foliage off the trellis, and coil it up and put it in the hole, cover with dirt and then wood mulch. Mine comes back every spring so lush I can't believe it sometimes. I also have two different clematis that are usually in bloom together. I usually do this at the end of October in my zone, 6a, but now shouldn't be too late. Good luck!


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