As we traverse the seasons from fall to winter, our landscaping can require some help with the seasonal shift…and while we gear-up for the clean-up of our yards and gardens, there is something else you may want to consider – exactly how you want to handle your perennials. Should you or should you not leave your perennials standing throughout the winter months? That is the question!
There certainly are benefits to leaving seed heads in place on perennials such as plants including coneflowers, yucca and bee balm which attract, help nourish and provide shelter for beautiful birds throughout the cooler months. Perennials left standing during the winter can also provide a safe haven for pollinators including bees.
Leaving evergreens and semi-evergreens alone can also provide you with pretty winter foliage as opposed to empty looking gardens. Additionally, perennials that begin to break down may provide mulch, which can be both nutritious and insulating for other plants remaining in the same area.
Just be sure to remove any insect-infested or disease-prone plants and you should be safe. However, if you prefer things cleaner and do decide to cut back your perennials, waiting for your plants to turn brown and dry out before you trim them will help to maintain valuable energy stored within their root systems for healthy regeneration in the spring!