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Garden owners with a sense of order love to ship in the fall: they cut back the withered shrubs so that they can gather strength for the new shoots in the spring. This is especially important in plants that have been heavily used during flowering, such as hollyhocks or cockade flowers. A pruning in autumn extends their lifespan. In the case of larkspur, phlox and lupine, the autumn cut stimulates the formation of new shoot buds.
In autumn, pruning is often easier, as the plant parts become soggy over wet winters. In addition, comes at this time no new release of the scissors in the way. The already formed hibernation buds, on the other hand, must be spared in any case, from them the plants are driven out again in the spring. Asters, spurge flowers or milkweed species, which multiply strongly by sowing, are already cut down before seed formation.
It has proven to be good to leave plants in the fall that still look good in winter
No desire for bald beds
The other side of the coin: When everything is cleared, the bed looks pretty bare over the winter. If you want to avoid this, you can simply plant plants that produce attractive seeds until spring. Traudi B. therefore cuts off almost all perennials only in the spring. The perennials that still look good in the winter include the stonecrop (Sedum), the sun hat (Rudbeckia), the thistle (Echinops), the lantern flower (Physalis alkekengi), the purple coneflower (Echinacea), the goat's beard (Aruncus), the firewort ( Phlomis) and yarrow (Achillea). Most of our Facebook users also leave their hydrangeas uncut in the fall, as the flower balls still look attractive in winter and also protect the budding buds from frost. The stars of winter include flowered panicle hydrangeas when their seeds are covered with rime.
The dried inflorescences of panicle hydrangeas are also decorative in winter
Above all, grasses should be left alone in autumn, because they unfold their full splendor in winter. Powdered with hoarfrost or snow, in the cold season, there are pictures that conjure up a very special atmosphere in the garden. The plants themselves are better protected from frost and cold.
All year round green foliage
It would also be a pity if evergreen perennials such as golden strawberries (Waldsteinia), purple bells (Heuchera) or scythe flowers (Iberis) fell victim to the scissors. They keep their foliage throughout the winter and set green accents in the winter gray. Some Bergenien even scores with reddish leaf coloring.
The winter covers leafy perennials such as lady's mantle (left) and Bergenia leaves (right) with glittering hoarfrost
And also the animal world is pleased, if perennials are cut back only in the spring: The seeds are used as overwintering birds for food, the stalks many insects as a shelter and nursery. For this reason, the sun hats, grasses, hydrangeas, autumn asters and autumn anemones remain in the garden of our Facebook user Sabine D.! Because Sabine is of the opinion that the microorganisms and Pieper need something to eat and crawl even in winter. Although Sandra J. cuts some perennials back, leaves the clippings as a shelter for small animals in a corner of the garden.
Pruning as an active plant protection measure
In order to prevent fungal diseases such as mildew, rust or other leaf sprouts from hibernating in the autumn and infecting them in the spring, infected parts of the plant are cut off before winter.