Perennial plants, those that return year after year, providing us with aesthetic beauty, a source of food for both pollinators and humans, medicine, ground cover and an abundance of other qualities, while they seem to be and are hardier than annuals, still need some attention.
And getting them the right attention at the proper time, can make them more successful. They will be able to provide their unique essence for a longer period of time, both within the season and from year to year, ultimately making for less work and a more fulfilling garden landscape.
When we talk about “perennials” specifically we aren’t including trees or shrubs, but herbaceous plants that have generally five types of growth structure and all slightly different management needs.
- True Herbaceous (Peonies, Daylilies, Hosta), cut right back to ground level.
- Tall upright flowers (Rudbeckia, Coreopsis, Echinacea), die back in fall, with little rosettes growing close to ground. Remove dead upright growth.
- Woody Plants (Lavedula, Butterfly Bush, St.John’s Wort), Leave about 6 inches of growth, making sure there’s at least one bud for new growth to form.
- Semi-evergreen (Coral Bells, Foam Flower, Ferns), may stay close to evergreen in mild winters and really protected situations. Spot treatment of dead growth in Spring.
- Evergreen (Rock Cress, Dianthus, Moss Phlox), if by March/April the plant is growing and looks vibrant, leave it be. Maybe some shearing of tattered or brown leaves, otherwise don’t prune until after they’ve finished blooming.
More information: https://www.almanac.com/caring-perennial-flowers