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Plant Care Instructions


Pruning

Perennials:
Generally, any perennial including liriope and ornamental grasses can be cut to ground level at any time, usually fall or spring. 

In the early spring (prior to April 1st), cut back all perennials including liriope and ornamental grasses as close to the ground as possible.  Exceptions would be russian sage (cut back to 4-6”) and evergreen perennials like lavender, dianthus, etc which should removed of dead stems and perhaps pruned back slightly for shape. 

When fall arrives, if a perennial does not look good, cut it to the ground.  However, some perennials (liriope, grasses, sedum, russian sage) look nice even though they are dried out during the winter months and can be left to cut back in spring.

During the growing season, cut back spent flowers as necessary. Purple Coneflower and Daisies need to be deadheaded (old blossoms removed back to where new flower bud is forming) to encourage more blooms.  Yarrow and Salvia(meadow sage) should definitely be removed of old flowers as both of these will rebloom later in the season.  Floppy perennials such as Autumn Joy Sedum and hardy chrysanthemums should be “pinched” or cutback 2-3 times prior to early July.

Lastly, Lambsear and some Hosta are plants that are grown for their foliage.  You can remove the flower buds if you don’t like them. A good pair of gas or electric pruning shears are ideal for cutbacks but a good pair of sharp hedge shears will suffice.  Hand pruners should be used for all other pruning.

 

 

 


Shrubs:
Cutback Shrubs (spirea, bluemist shrub, crimson pygmy barberry, st. johns wort) – cutback in spring to a rounded, slightly dome-topped mound between 8” and 18”.  This will keep the plant from becoming too large during the growing season and give it a neat appearance. You will find yourself modifying your cutbacks as you familiarize yourself with the growth rates of individual plants.

Carefree Roses – cutback in spring or fall to an 18” size (carefree wonder is generally and upright shrub to4-5’high x 3’ wide and carefree delight is a sprawling plant 4-5’ wide x 3’ high).

Butterflybush – cutback to 12-18” (this maybe difficult the first year, but don’t worry they never fail to grow 6’ every year!).

Annabelle Hydrangea – cut to ground level every year in spring (those dried blooms look nice through the winter!).

Lace Cap and Blue Snowball-type Hydrangeas – Leave Alone, pruning will result in the removal of the flower buds and you will have no flowers.  You can cutoff up to 1/3rd of the plant if it is growing too large or for shape and still retain some flowers.

Oakleaf Hydrangea – generally leave alone, if it needs shaping, prune right after flowering.

Other Deciduous Shrubs – prune after flowering.

Flowering Evergreens (azaleas, rhododendrons, etc.)
– prune after flowering.

Evergreens – prune anytime. 


Weed Control

An application of granular pre-emergent herbicide is a good idea to control annual weeds in the early spring prior to mulching and can also be of benefit over paved areas to prevent weeds appearing in the cracks.  Treflan, Eptam, Preen, etc. are all brand names (always apply per directions). Yellow Nutsedge is not affected by pre-emergent herbicides and should be pulled immediately being sure to extract all their roots.  Use concentrated Roundup herbicide per directions to control perennial weeds (thistle, dandelion, morning glory, wild chrysanthemum, and poison ivy).

Fertilization


An application of granular 5-10-5 is recommended prior to mulching.

Mulching

Edge all beds with a sharp spade and apply 1⁄2 to 1” layer of new mulch every year.