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Maintaining your Perennials

maintaining your perennials

Perennials are flowering plants or grasses that come up from the ground every year. They are different from shrubs in that the stems are soft and are not woody. 

Install year

During the installation year the main objective is to grow roots. Leaves and flowers are nice but the plants need to acclimatize to our weather and survive their first winter. Seeds take the most amount of energy to produce and will drain the plant’s reserves. Throughout the summer, enjoy the flowers, and then as soon as they are finished cut them off. This includes the roses and hydrangeas which are often grown for their winter interest. 

the Following Spring

In the following spring approx. April 15 you can cut down or clean up the brown debris of the perennials. Do not cut down the shrubs. Fertilize with miracle grow or granular fertilize on May 15, June 15, and July 15. On October 15 you can cut back the perennials for the coming winter. Hostas and lilies often turn yellow in September and can be cut down earlier. If it is easier you can also cut all of your perennials down on April 15.

There are 3 kinds of perennials

Ground covers

Ground covers are usually green and cover the soil. You can cut off the old flowers but generally you don’t do anything except to remove any dead leaves. 

Mounding perennials

Cut down to about five inches tall but cut back in a mounded shape 

Upright perennials

Cut down to one inch tall, level with the soil. With Karl Forester grass cut back on April 15.