Sleet, snow, and frost, oh my!
Winter is just around the corner, and in the garden, that means most of your perennials are going dormant. With these cold temperatures on their way, it is time to put your perennials to bed for the winter. While it may seem like your garden has gone quiet during these chilly days, a lot is happening underneath the soil. Winter gives plants a time to rest before they can bloom come spring; below the ground, your perennials are growing roots and leaning on the nutrients and moisture from the soil. These winter care tips are all about protecting the roots – otherwise, you may not find your plants healthy and vibrant as spring and summer arrive! With a little love, your perennials can live long and prosper!
Many perennials will die back as we move from fall to freezing; winter prep often starts with pruning back dead leaves and stems. It is important to protect these perennials by cutting back dead foliage to just a few inches above the ground. Your perennials will hide quietly away and emerge victorious when the frost is gone, and spring greets us.
However, it is important to note that there are some perennials that provide a much needed food source for birds during the Winter. Perennials such as Echinacea, Rudbeckia, Sedum and Coreopsis provide food for a wide variety of birds with their dried flowers and seedheads, so consider what you cut before you cut!
Forming an insulating blanket on the garden using mulch helps keep in winter moisture and protects the root system from tissue damage during freezing temperatures. Add a layer of insulation on top of the soil; about 2-3 inches of mulch. Mulch materials should be organic matter; you can even use pruned evergreens, dried leaves, or clean straw as mulch. We all need a warm blanket to snuggle under during those cold days.
Some winter months, we’re waiting for the snow, but it doesn’t come. When the ground isn’t quite frozen during those dry spells, it is good to water your plants at least once a month! Keep a little irrigation going, so they have something to drink while they rest till spring!
*Winterizing your perennials is beneficial for your plants to be nice and cozy as they get ready for their big blooming show next season! For your specific questions or needs please reach out to our Plant Whispering Team for all your winter care tips!