container plant in garden
Photo: Mark Lohman
« »

Full Cycle Appreciation

Q: Should I cut back perennials in spring or fall?

A: Fall is old-school. We need to appreciate plants at every stage of their life cycle, whether they are looking wonderful or freeze-dried. If you leave the tops on through the winter, they help protect the crowns from freezing, and they provide habitat for birds. The more we follow nature, the better. Nature doesn't cut everything back in the fall. So I do it in late winter or early spring. It gives you something useful to do when you are eager to garden but the soil is still too damp to dig.
Ask TOH users about Garden Planning

Contribute to This Story Below

    More in Landscaping