Gardening Tips & Flowers : How to Prepare Perennials for Winter

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Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen, and in this segment,we're going to learn all about how to prepare our perennials, for the winter.

Now, we allhave gorgeous blooms all summer long, and by the end of the fall, it starts to freezea little bit, if you live in a colder climate, and everything just looks trashed, so howdo you prepare your perennials for the winter, and what should you do with them? First ofall, my theory with all my plants, is if it's green and lush leave it be, if it's brownor ratty, cut it out, so the first thing I do, is, to prepare them for winter, is cutout all the brown material, and if it's in the garden, a lot of times I'll just leaveit there as compost, but in my containers, I like to actually cut out anything that'sbrown, and not looking good, because it doesn't look good, and by the winter time it willturn mushy, and then I remember, this is my strelitzia, or my bird of paradise, and itdoes not like cold, cold winters, and it won't even survive in my greenhouse, because ifit gets even a little bit of frost, the ends of the leaves will actually curl up, and I'meven getting concerned now.

It's probably forty degrees, and I know it's hating it rightnow, and I should put it in the house, so I treat it as a house plant, for the wintertime.

I don't even try to put my exotic plants outside in the greenhouse, or even cover them up.

If they're very, very temperamental, then I will bring them inside, and even if I leavethem a little bit on the dry side, give them some water, but leave them in the laundryroom.

They seem to do really well.

I have a little window there, and they sometimesget a little bit beat up, but at least I can save them, so if you've got plants that areannuals, like this petunia, it's really probably not going to come back no matter what I do,but I have left them in my greenhouse, and a few times they have survived, so the samedeal.

If it looks brown or green, or looks ratty in any way, then I just start choppingit out, and it's easy to do, and a lot of times too, if it's still blooming, I justhave the hardest time, chopping anything that's dying, so I've thrown this in my greenhouse.

It's actually getting pretty cold in the greenhouse, and this plant is not liking that, but there'sstill some flowers on it, so I think I'm just going to trim off all the dead flowers, fordead growth, and then I'll come back in a few weeks, probably, and the rest of it willdie down, and then I'll go ahead, and I will cut off the rest of the flowers, anythingthat's brown, all the way to the ground even.

Sometimes my annuals will even come back,so it's always worth the effort, to either throw it in the garage,or throw it in thebasement, or even in the greenhouse, if you have one, and just let it survive the winter.

In my outside beds, I cover all of my perennial beds with leaf clippings, so when I'm rakingup my leaves, I just cover up all the flower beds, and that way, all the weeds die down,and then the leaves break down the compost, for the next year, and then my perennials,my day lilies, my semisefugas, my crocosmias, all come up through that, and they do really,really well, and it's an easy way to prepare your garden for the winter.

I also like todig up my geraniums, or begonias, or any other plants that will not make it over the winter,in my climate, and I will either save them as the bulb, in a paper bag, or I'll justthrow them in the greenhouse, and leave them dry for the winter, and then put them outagain the next year, so there's lots of ways that you can help your perennials throughthe winter.

Never fertilize them with nitrogen in the fall, because that will get new growth,and that's the worst thing you can do for your plants, so to prepare them for the winter,don't fertilize them at all, after mid summer, and even into early fall, and if you're goingto fertilize them, give them phosphate, something that is a blooming fertilizer, because actuallythe phosphates will help the plant survive the winter, better.

Source: Youtube