Monday, November 3, 2008

Cutting Back

Time to break out the pruners! I've spent several afternoons cutting back my perennials and shrubs. Now I'm no expert on pruning although I've seen encyclopedic volumes on the subject. I don't have the time or patience to read them. I can only speak from my own experience. Last year, I didn't cut back anything in the fall. Instead, I waited until spring to see where the new growth would emerge and then cut back all the old, dead stuff from the previous year. Nothing at all scientific about that and it seemed to have worked just fine.

This year, I've decided to cut back all of my perennials in the fall (but, of course, not my Japanese Maple tree) just to see if I end up with a different result when next season comes around. I had no choice but to cut back my Lespedeza because this is the year I am forced to divide it which I expect will not be an easy task given how long it's been in the same pot.

I've included pictures of one of my butterfly bushes. In the first picture, you can barely make out the blade of my pruners cutting one of the stems. The second picture shows what the plant looked like after I finished the job. It just so happens I did more research on cutting back butterfly bushes (after I had already cut mine, naturally) and I think I may have been a bit too aggressive. I guess I'll find out.

I'm going to be away for a little while. At the end of this month, I will be posting more information about planting bulbs because that's when I'll be ready to plant mine. You can still find a nice selection in the nurseries and online at sites such as but they're going fast!


Tom the Garden Guy said...

We have a butterfly bush too.

Supposedly it should die back over the winter (esp. here in NY). It doesn't. I was going to cut it back but it seemed to do just fine without it.

I do plan to cut it back some just because it's getting too big.

Anonymous said...

hi miriam,

i have been looking at your web page and it is sooooooo cool!

chloe baker

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