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Is it ok to cut dead perennial stems to the ground now or should I wait until new growth begins? I left them through the autumn for structure and to feed birds etc but since the snow they look really awful. The ferns and hardy fuchsias and my one euphorbia look worst of all.



Leave the fuchsias until you see the new growth, but I've been cutting everything else back this week - except Penstemons, of course! I should add - any plants which might need a little protection should also be left alone.
The ones I've cut off were Asters, Physostegia, Heleniums, Veronica, Rudbeckia, Echiacea and Solidago. I've also made a start at removing the crocosmia leaves which pull off easily, so they're ready to remove. They were a soggy mess!

19 Jan, 2010


this is what i am planning to do at the weekend: weather, hubby and children permitting!

19 Jan, 2010


Try not to be too tidy though,don't forget lacewings and ladybirds will still be in bed till March/April :)

19 Jan, 2010


I leave most of my perennials until late February or early March (depending on the weather). However I cut back asters and phlox early in the season as they start earlier into growth and it is easier to work on them without young shoots getting in the way

19 Jan, 2010


With the ferns it is probably better to fold the old leaves over to protect the new 'buds' from any further frost.

19 Jan, 2010


Yes, Phlox as well - in fact all the plants that have new growth showing! I haven't touched my ferns, I must admit, Mr MB.

19 Jan, 2010


Thanks for your very helpful replies. I will fold the ferns and leave the fuchsias alone for now. In view of Aster's reminder about lacewings and ladybirds and the weather today, I might even forget the whole idea until later except for those showing new growth already.

20 Jan, 2010

How do I say thanks?

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