How do I care for my perennials over the colder months?

Lindsey Ward

Perennials and Pruning Patience

Perennials have an absolute blast throughout Summer and early Autumn but as they start to think about putting their feet up, should we resist the temptation to prune?

The term ‘Perennial’ is used most frequently by gardeners to refer to a non-woody plant which performs year after year.  These can also be evergreen or semi-evergreen and many of them can give us interest in the garden even throughout the Autumn and early Winter.


Should I cut back/tidy up my perennials in the Autumn?

We would suggest you simply remove stems and flowers which have fallen over, or those which have gone or are going rotten to stop disease and decay setting in.  If the plants are looking happy and healthy with seed heads drying out nicely, move away from the secateurs as lots of perennials look lovely in winter with cobwebs and frosted stems.


What benefits are there to pruning perennials in the Spring rather than in the Autumn?

Many gardeners prefer to tidy up their perennials in Autumn/early Winter to improve the appearance of their outside space.  Cutting these plants back in early Spring will not only give your garden some height and winter interest, but it will also be appreciated by many creepy crawlies and used as wildlife habitats and shelter.  Leaving the old stems will also help to protect the plant crown from the frosts as this is where new shoots will form.


How do I care for my perennials over the colder months?

We’ve been treated to some lovely mild weather recently but as we prepare for the cold spell, it would be beneficial to give our garden beds and borders a pamper session.  Mulching our garden soil whilst incorporating some compost, such as our Rose, Tree and Shrub mix will not only protect the roots of our perennial plants, but it will give them nutrients to kick start another season of gorgeous colour and growth: Click Here To Buy Rose, Tree & Shrub Compost 

We also have a handy tool to help with this, I may have mentioned it a few times in previous blogs, my trusty, back-saving, Border Wizard! This lightweight garden buddy will assist you in churning the soil and with a little twist, help out with weeds too: Buy Your Border Wizard Here


If you’re looking to add some perennials to your collection and would ideally like some winter interest, then how about giving some grass or grass-like shrubs a try?  We have Acorus and Pennisetum available on our website both with evergreen foliage and will look fantastic with frosty cobwebs during the cold weather.  Bergenia or ‘Elephants Ears’ is also a fab choice with its large leaves flushed red in cold Winters.

My final thought this week - Every year I admire how pretty the Hydrangea flowers are during the Autumn, just as they are starting to go over.  In between collecting leaves, I decided to pick a few for indoors (I remembered to take a photo of one outside whilst the sun was shining, I hope you like it too) 


Thank you for taking the time to read my blog this week and please do get in touch if you have any questions, I’m happy to help.


Take care, Lins.





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