Fall is the ideal time to prune certain plants and trees to ensure their health throughout winter and early spring months. During early fall, as the vibrant hues of summer start to fade, it’s a great moment to think about preparing your garden for the coming winter and the burst of growth that will occur when spring arrives.
What Can I Prune Back In The Fall?
What Can I Prune Back in the Fall?
Vegetables and annuals die off when the cold weather arrives. Dig them up and add them to the compost heap.
For flowering shrubs and perennials, early fall is when you want to prune to remove spent flowers and any dead or diseased wood. This not only tidies up the appearance of your garden but also helps prevent the spread of fungal diseases. By cutting back these plants, you stimulate new growth and allow the plant to focus its energy on developing strong, healthy branches during the winter months.
Some common perennials to prune in the fall include the following species.
- Daylilies (Hemerocallis).
- Bellflowers (Campanula).
- Salvia (Salvia spp.).
- Catmint (Nepeta spp.).
- Coneflowers (Rudbeckia).
These hardy perennials are suitable for growing in USDA Zones 4 to 9.
Considerations for Pruning Perennials in the Fall
When it comes to specific plants like bearded iris, it’s a good practice to trim them back in the fall. You can remove any dead or decaying foliage, which not only improves their appearance but also reduces the risk of potential fungal issues. Additionally, taking this action in the fall helps prepare them for a rejuvenated bloom in the upcoming spring.
There’s no rule set in stone saying you have to prune plants in the fall. Some plants, like Agastache (Brittonastrum) and yarrow (Milfoil), dry out nicely, adding visual aesthetics to a winter garden. These plants don’t require pruning in the fall; leave them alone.
These hardy plants thrive in USDA Zones 2 to 9, providing shelter for wildlife and birds. Ornamental grasses do well in the winter, with most varieties outlasting other plants in the yard during the colder months.
Leave the tops of the grasses uncut, and you’ll protect the roots during the winter months. This strategy ensures you know where your plants are when spring arrives, stopping you from digging them up.
Unless disease takes hold of your plants, you can leave them be. However, your choice to prune depends on your preference for yard aesthetics. Plants look better pruned in formal garden landscapes. In a natural setting, gardeners can leave plants unpruned in the winter.
Fall Pruning Strategies
Cut back plants and perennial grasses in the fall using garden shears or pruning scissors. Wait for the first big freeze to allow the plant to enter the dormancy phase before cutting back.
Pruning before the freeze causes the plant to grow new nodes or buds, which die off when the winter arrives, stressing the plant.
If you live in a region of the United States that receives warm winters, prune as necessary to keep the garden looking tidy and neat. If you’re pruning, cut the plants back to three inches above the soil.
Cautions for Pruning in the Fall
Look out for signs of infection as the late summer approaches and prune infected plants.
Bee balm and phlox are prone to powdery mildew infestations, leaving the foliage with white and grey spots and black stems – these are all classic signs of disease and require pruning back.
Don’t toss the debris in the compost heap, or you’ll infect the organic material. Throw them in the trash instead. Fall marks the end of the growing season. Gardeners start clearing the yard in preparation for the winter, mulching flowerbeds, and feeding the plants before the cold weather arrives.
Pruning For A Flourishing Garden
Considering winter interest is essential when deciding what to prune in the fall. Trimming and shaping your trees and shrubs now can enhance their appearance during the winter months, adding aesthetic value to your garden even when other plants are dormant.
It’s important to note that some plants are best pruned in early spring, so it’s beneficial to research the specific needs of each plant in your garden before pruning.
Arbor Hills Landscaping Company Omaha | Best Landscaping Company in Omaha, NE
Arbor Hills Trees & Landscaping Services can provide you with everything from detailed maintenance programs to unique plant production, and other services in between. That means we build water features, walls, patios, irrigation, walkways, outdoor kitchens, lighting, and anything else you can help us dream up. Our professionally trained staff can build the landscape of your dreams and keep you from breaking any Home Landscaping Rules.
Click on a heading bar below for more information:
Fire Pit Designs Landscaping Services
Imagine the ambiance created in your backyard landscape by a custom fire pit. In fact, nothing is more inviting on a cool spring night or for fall and winter gatherings of family and friends.A fire pit may be used to provide warmth during outdoor entertaining, but also as a heat source for outdoor cooking or simply roasting marshmallows. Our trained custom fire pit installers are experts in turning your vision into reality. More…
Outdoor Living Landscaping Services
Unlimited Outdoor Kitchen offers a professional outdoor kitchen, outdoor fireplace, and outdoor living room design, building, and installation services with FREE ESTIMATES. More…
Retaining Walls Landscaping Services
Enhance the beauty of your landscape with a retaining wall that is customized to coordinate with your home’s exterior.At Arbor Hills, our retaining wall designer will create a functional retaining wall that is aesthetically pleasing for your personal taste, and within your target budget. With the many materials available today, the retaining wall project you’ve been considering is just a phone call away! More…
Stamped and Colored Concrete
It is time to upgrade or replace some of the hardscape features surrounding your home? Stamped and colored concrete is a beautiful and affordable material. It enhances the color and texture featured on your home’s exterior.Stamped concrete in textures from modern to rustic is available to coordinate with your home’s existing design features. Colored concrete can be blended to match or enhance your home’s exterior color scheme. A designer from Arbor Hills will consider all these existing features at your site visit and when designing your project. More…
Patio Pavers Landscaping Services
Concrete pavers are a great way to improve your landscape and garden. In fact, they are super strong and lend themselves to many hardscaping projects. They rarely crack but if they do, each piece is easily replaceable. More…
Landscape Lighting Designs
Outdoor lighting can be nearly as important to the overall look and feel of your home as the landscaping itself. So you shouldn’t short-change yourself by skimping on quality lighting products. We are a full-service landscape and waterscape company that can solve all of your residential and commercial lighting needs anywhere in Omaha and the surrounding areas. More…
Water Feature Landscaping Designs
Imagine the sight and sound of bubbling water as you relax in your outdoor sanctuary. A water feature can give just the right ambiance to your outdoor retreat. Or, if you are looking for a water feature with traffic-slowing curb appeal, a designer from Arbor Hills will help you choose the water feature that best enhances your home. More…
Sod Installation Services
Whether you have just built your home, cleared agricultural land for your personal use, or simply want to improve the look of your existing yard, having sod installed is a fast way to create the lush, green carpet of grass you want.It offers instant satisfaction rather than weeks of waiting and anticipating whether or not your grass seed is going to grow. Plus, using sod offers a host of other benefits. More…More…
Mulch & Rock Landscaping Services
The concept, to design, to delivery and installation, we have more than 20 years of experience in the landscaping industry in Omaha and surrounding areas. Our services include delivery, full installation, and mulch and rock cleaning around your beds, trees, and more. More…
Plants & Shrubs Landscaping
Plants and shrubs are the backbones of your landscape, therefore they should be the first things you plant. Proper selection will enhance a home’s appearance and increase property value while reflecting the homeowner’s style and personality. More…
Let our trained nursery professionals assist you in selecting the perfect tree or shrub to complete your landscape. We carry a selection that is unmatched in Omaha and the surrounding areas and are willing and eager to explain our favorites. Improved varieties are introduced each year and we always strive to carry the best and newest – varieties more resistant to disease, shade trees better able to withstand storm damage, and ornamentals in unique colors, shapes, and sizes you have to see to believe. More…