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Cutting Back Perennials In Autumn

Before you start cutting back hebaceous perennials this Autumn, read this article which will tell you which ones to prune, which ones to leave and how to cut back to leave the desired result.

General rule of thumb is to cut the perennials back to avoid them being battered about in the wind and cold harsh weather of winter.

It's also a good excuse to clear away foliage and dead stems or leaves for the winter which can harbor unwanted garden guests such as slug or snails.

Many gardeners avoid cutting back too short and keep the ground mulch for providing homes to wildlife during the winter.

There is no right or wrong and it's good to be different!

What to leave in your garden?

Many seeded flower plants such as Thistles, Umbellifers and Ornamental Grasses can be left and actually bring a level of activity and character to the dormant looking garden throughout the winter. They also provide food and shelter to some wildlife.

Evergreens such as Epimediums, Euphorbias and Hellebores should be left too along with the stems of Penstemons. The old stems will protect the crown during the colder months until you cutting them back in the Spring.

What to prune in your garden?

Reduce the following all down to the ground:

Remove the mulch and minimise clumps.

Old flower stems - cut at an angle and as low as possible. This is due to generally being hollow stems and collecting rain water which will freeze during winter and damage the plant.

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