It is time to do some maintenance work in the garden. Our flowering trees, shrubs and perennials can have huge benefits from some timely pruning and maintenance.
It is important to know which plants are to be cut back in the fall, rather than in the spring. A great general rule of thumb is that if it blooms in fall, it should be pruned in fall and if it blooms in spring, it should be pruned in spring. So this means this is NOT the time of year to prune your: lilacs, serviceberries, red buds, magnolias or any other spring blooming shrubs.
Certain perennial plants benefit from the protection of their dead shoots over the harsh winter. Here is a list of perennial plants that are not recommended for pruning or cutting back: Fall Mums, Sedum, Butterfly Weed and Heuchera.
Now that we have gone over what not to prune in the fall, lets get to what is important WHAT CAN I PRUNE IN THE FALL?
Here is a list of just a few perennial plants that should be cut back in the fall: Irises, beebalm, lilies, blanket flower, columbine, corydalis, and day-lilies all require a fall pruning to reduce the incidence of diseases.
Here is a list of just a few perennial shrubs that should be cut back in the fall: Annabelle, PG and Limelight Hydrangeas do not require pruning, however, if you are looking to maintain shape or reduce the size of these shrubs – fall is the best time to do it.
If you would like to maintain the shape of your evergreens or reduce their size, fall is the best time to do their pruning.
Because the foliage of these plants may contain a disease it is highly recommended that you burn the plant material after pruning, rather than composting because this will eliminate the spread of disease.