Friday, March 28, 2008

Landscape - Plants to Cut Back Now

Now is the time to cut back ornamental grasses and other perennials to get rid of the dead tissue and provide space for this year’s foliage to emerge. If you wait too long, you will have to cut back newly emerging plant tips--not much of a problem with grasses but more problematic with some perennials. Liriope can be mowed to remove winter damaged tissue.

Cut back shrubs grown for their winter foliage now. Red twig dogwood can be cut back to the ground completely or you can remove two/thirds of the old canes back to the ground. Do not cut redtwig dogwood back uniformly to 1-2 feet in height (as I have seen in a number of places). That will result in heavy branches at the base of the plant that won’t exhibit good red coloration next winter. Only young stems color well and you want the coloration to extend all the way to the base of the plant.

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