When Perennials Finish Blooming

Shell Ginger Lilies that have finished blooming

Shell Ginger Lilies that have finished blooming

New growth of Mexican Sage after blooming

New growth of Mexican Sage after blooming

Many of our perennials are finishing their fall bloom. While each has to be examined for how to care for it, there are some general rules.

With plants like ginger lilies and other fall blooming lilies, I cut them to the ground when they finish blooming. Shoots that have not bloomed are left to perhaps bloom but are best removed before a hard freeze.

The fall blooming sages need to have their blooming stems removed when they finish. Most of the Mexican sages will put up new foliage that dies when a good frost occurs. These plants do best when they go into the winter slightly dry, so do not water after blooming is finished.

Garden asters, goldenrods, and garden mums need to have their flowering stalks removed when they finish blooming, and then non-blooming stems should be left until they are  killed by frost.

Sedums also need the flowering stalks removed, but the new foliage at the base should be left alone.

So, if your perennials are not covered here, let me know by using our “Ask John” section of the site.

John Floyd

John Floyd has been gardening--and learning about Birmingham area gardening--for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience, John has degrees in horticulture from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.

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