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How do I winterize my new foundation plants?

Posted by Kaisermust Upstate NY ( on
Sun, Oct 2, 05 at 14:36

Hi. We put in new foundation plants this year (all perennials) and I would like to know what I do to them now to get them ready for the winter. The plants I have are: monardas (bee palms), gold flame spirea , wine and roses weigela, silvermound, coral bells (crimson curls and plum pudding), astilbe, several varieties of daylilies, hosta and a couple of dwarf alberta spruces and mugo pines. I assume I do nothing to the alberta spruces and mugo pines but do I cut the others back now that the growing season is over? And if so, how far do I cut them back (how many inches do I leave left out of the ground?)? Pardon my ignorance in tending to my new plants but I would greatly appreciate guidance as to how to take care of them now to assure they'll rebloom next year. They're too expensive to start over. Thanks.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How do I winterize my new foundation plants?

The daylilies, hosta, and monarda will die back to the ground once the frosts come. Then I just clean up the dead foliage and mulch over them a bit. They're hardy plants, they should be fine.

Not sure about the others on your list.

RE: How do I winterize my new foundation plants?

I prefer to let all perennials die back to the ground naturally. Sometimes I can clean up the foliage in the Fall before snow fall, other times I wait until Spring. If the plants are mulched now, make sure the mulch is not touching the stems of the plant to help prevent rot. Since the plants are next to the house, they, more than likely will be better protected from the elements, so, in my opinion, no additional mulching is required. If you have a plant that is borderline hardy to your area, then I would add additional mulch or chopped leaves around the plant after the ground has frozen.

RE: How do I winterize my new foundation plants?

Most important is to keep all "woody plants" well watered till the ground freezes a pain but very important.
If the evergreens are in a windy spot you might want to spray with Wiltpruf to protect them from drying winds.

RE: How do I winterize my new foundation plants?

  • Posted by hammerl z5-6 Amherst NY (My Page) on
    Wed, Oct 5, 05 at 13:26

I leave my astilbe alone until Spring, then I clean up any remaining foliage that's still there as the plants will re-grow from the ground up. Leave the coral bells alone. Mine don't even die back all the time. Just remove dead leaves in the spring. The goldflame spirea you can just leave alone as it probably doesn't even need pruning yet. Of course, I've had rabbits prune mine back in hard winters, and it just keeps thriving. My weigela lives on neglect and does super. Some people cut the hosta back to the ground in the fall, but you don't have to. You can clear any lingering dead leaves in spring cleanup, which is what I do. I also pretty much ignore my daylilies, except I deadhead the tigerlilies when their stems turn brown in August. My other daylilies I don't do a thing to, ever. The monarda comes up from the ground in the spring as well, and I never bother doing anything with it in fall.

RE: How do I winterize my new foundation plants?

I leave all my plants to die off naturally. I clean up any broken branches or stems that have fallen on the ground but leave everything else alone. I don't do anything I just let nature take care of them. I have coral bells, monarda, a weigelia, astilbe, daylilies and hostas. SOme of these were grown in containers outside all year long for two years before they ever went in the ground. My way of thinking is if they can't survive without a lot of special care I don't need them.


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