November is here, and many of us will be cutting back perennials and getting garden beds ready for winter. As we go about this task, it is important to remember that some perennials with woody stems should be cut back in the spring instead of the fall to avoid winter damage and to enhance their performance in the summer garden.
Perennials in this category include buddleia, caryopteris, hypericum and perovskia. During fall cleanup it is also important to watch for plants that have been plagued with any insect or disease problems during the growing season. The foliage and stems of these plants should be removed from the garden to prevent any pathogens from overwintering in the leaf litter. A few perennials to keep a watchful eye on are hollyhock, heliopsis, bee balm and tall phlox.