When you are ready to cut back your perennial garden this Fall, keep in mind that certain plants should be left alone until mid to late Spring, when the weather starts to get warm. It is fine to trim the spent flowers off of plants like Lavender, Russian Sage, Candytuft, and Santolina- but cutting into the woody stems could cause them to die back in the winter.
Heucheras, Hellebores (Christmas and Lenten Roses), and Tiarellas (foam flowers) remain mostly evergreen through the winter. Remove the old leaves in the spring when the new leaves or flowers emerge.
Some perennials need the extra protection of leaves to help them survive colder temperatures. Hardy mums and coreopsis return better and more vigorously if they are not cut back in fall.
While peonies can (and should) be cut back one to two inches above the ground now, tree peonies should never be cut back.
Questions or comments? Please feel free to comment in the space below-Happy Gardening!
Cindy Hollett, MCH (Massachusetts, Certified Horticulturist.)Vetorino’s Landscape and Irrigation