How to Prepare Perennials for Winter

perennial flower bed
The big advantage to planting perennials in your garden is that you will not need to plant them again next year. With the ability to live through the winter weather and come back again next spring, perennial flowers are loved for their durability and consistency. However, you do need to take some steps in order to give them the best possible chance of getting through the winter in good condition. Just like any other type of plant, perennials will not survive if they are neglected.

Plan Ahead

To care for your perennials properly in the winter, you will actually need to have a plan in place during the summer. Specifically, you will want to halt the fertilizing process during sometime in the summer so you can slow down the growth of the plant and get it ready for the winter ahead. This is a particularly important tip in cold weather areas.

Cut Them Back

This is probably not a surprising tip to find here, but it is important nonetheless. As you may know, you will want to cut your perennials back before the winter weather settles in. When the growing season is over, cut the stems down all the way to the point where they are only six to eight inches above the top of the soil.

Consider Watering

If you live in a part of the world where freezing temperatures don’t often occur in the winter, you might need to water your perennials on occasion. Of course, this advice only applies if you live in a dry climate. Areas which receive a lot of rain will have no need for a winter watering schedule. Even if you do live in a dry area, you should only need to water roughly once per month to keep the perennials in good condition until spring.

Use Mulch

For those in a cold climate – particularly an area which receives snow – it is a good idea to use mulch as an insulator during the cold winter weather. Fall is a good time to remove any old mulch you might have had in the beds and replace it to help protect the perennials from what could be a harsh winter season. This layer of insulation just may be what allows your perennials to make it all the way through to spring without any signs of trouble.

Consider Storing Bulbs Away

There are certain types of bulbs – like dahlias – which are not tough enough to survive the cold winter in the ground. If you are dealing with a cold climate, you may need to dig these bulbs up and store them in a more suitable environment until the weather warms up again.

Perennials are a great addition to any garden, but they require attention just like any other plant. We hope the simple tips above will help you care for your perennials successfully even when the cold winter weather arrives. Good luck!