The Fall Debate: To cut or not to cut?
Every fall we have the debate around our office….should we cut back the perennials or leave them until spring?
This really is a personal choice, but more often than not our practice is to cut them back in the fall, especially at our commercial properties. Some perennials, such as grasses, offer winter interest and some gardeners believe leaving the perennials through the winter will protect them from the cold.
We opt to cut perennials back so the plant is ready to grow in the spring. Once the new growth begins in the spring it is difficult to cut back the old growth from the previous year. Below are photos from a commercial property (not maintained by our team). These plants were not cut back last fall and have started to grow in the spring. The photo shows how unsightly the old growth looks and how difficult it will be to remove the old growth without damaging the new growth.