Questions about fall flower beds, pruning, & houseplants

For the last few weeks, we have had questions on what to do for winter?  What do you do for cleanup and pruning?  Plus, what to do with houseplants or tropicals that have been out all summer?  So, let’s take each of these subjects separately.

First, what to do about winter.  Most plants we leave them until spring.  This will provide food for birds, habitat for other critters, plus there is some architectural interest in most plants when the snow hits.  The most important reason is protecting the crown of the plant.  If you take the plant material away, there is no protection for the root crown.  Some plants like Echinacea really appreciate the extra protection.  If you do not like the look of the plants for winter, then, cut the flower stalks off.

Secondly, what do you do for cleanup and pruning?  Pruning of shrubs and trees can be done in the fall, just remember to be mindful of how much you cut back.  If you cut too much, you will do more damage than good.  Some perennials need to be pruned in spring like lavender.  It will not be successful if cut in fall or winter, you will have die back on this plant.  Boxwoods and evergreens, give them a trim when you need some Greens for Christmas decorating.  This will help out with thinning and decorating, dual purpose.  Roses trim in spring.

Finally, houseplants moving inside.  You need to treat them for insects, give them a bath, and slowly move them inside.  Don’t take them from out in the sun to inside your dark house.  You need to move gradually or you will not be as successful.  Take them from sun to some shade for a week or two.  Check for insects (very important – insects would love to live in your house where it is warm), treat them for the insects you find.  Move them inside and enjoy.  You will probably have to change your watering patterns with your plants once inside.  It really depends on the plant.

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