Here are a few tips on fall care for perennials. Although I do encourage you to leave foliage and seedheads standing through the winter, some perennials do benefit from pruning back.
And don’t forget – we will have a congregation-wide Plant Exchange on October 30 after the service (12-2) in the gravel parking lot. As you begin to do fall clean-up, pot up any plants you wish to share. There are pots in the garage at 23 Ewin if you need them. Just remember to label the plants. And you may just come away with some new treasures!
Bearded Iris – the foliage has most likely begun to die back already, and it will be a haven for iris borers and fungal diseases. Cut back all the foliage completely after a killing frost and dispose of it instead of composting.
Beebalm – if you had mildew issues in summer, cut the plants back completely and dispose of the foliage. If there was no mildew, you can leave them on through winter.
Daylilies respond well to shearing. If you didn’t shear them back in late summer, mowing them down now will save messy cleanup in spring.
The perennial sunflower still looks great now and will until hard frost. Leave it up and the seedheads will feed the birds and catch snow beautifully.
Japanese Anemones are favorites of certain beetles and are often defoliated by fall. If not, the foliage of Japanese anemones turns black and unattractive with frost. Cut them back in the fall.
Peony foliage should be removed in the fall to prevent disease issues. Dispose of it instead of composting.
Phlox is prone to powdery mildew like beebalm. Prune and destroy all foliage and stems in the fall.
Perennial salvia benefits from several prunings during the growing season, and in fall, cut the whole plant back to the new leaves at the base.
Baptisia may split in the middle if not sheared back after blooming although the seed pods are beautiful in the snow. You can simply stake the pod stalks even though the foliage will turn black.
Please don’t hesitate to send an email or text if you have questions about your garden.