Most perennials we should cut back in the fall. They don’t look good once it gets cold, so it is best to cut them to the ground and they will come back well next spring.
Bearded iris should be cut to about 6 inches and remember to cut their flower stalks right to the ground as well. Also, bee balm (Monarda), especially if it has powdery mildew and seed heads that will fall and provide a multitude of new plants. Blackberry lilies also self- seed far too much unless they are cut back.
Gaillardias also benefit from cutting back, and of course, fennel needs to be chopped right down.
I cut my catmints back after their first bloom of the year so they will bloom another time, and then at the end of the season, I whack them down again. Columbine should be pruned right after the first frost and be sure to get rid of all leaves showing any leaf miner damage.
Cut back coryadalis hard, and crocrosmia and daylilies too, to prevent diseases.
A really good fall clean-up is essential to prevent the overwintering of pests and diseases. It also sets the stage for the garden’s spring display when the daffodils and other bulbs perform so well. So, cut down perennials that are past their peak in the cool days of fall, and in the spring next year you will be so glad that you did.
This is Moya Andrews, and today we focused on Cut Them Back.