Skip to content

Perennial Garden Maintenance – Editing

Perennial Garden Maintenance – Editing

Every perennial has its own personality and requires different care. Some, such as peonies, can be left undisturbed for years (except, of course, for pulling weeds) and others need frequent editing or dividing. Although most people enjoy the fact that their perennials spread, and initially appreciate that the plant is filling in, there comes a point when a controlling hand is needed. Not only will some plants overwhelm their neighbors, many are out-and-out thugs that will take over a garden and move on into the walkways. It’s up to the perennial gardener to take command.

Any plant that more than doubles its size every year will probably need to be edited down every other year. All Lysimachia species qualify (circle flower, gooseneck loosestrife, and creeping Jenny) as does the obedient plant, many threadleaf Coreopsis, and black-eyed Susans. For such enthusiastic spreaders it’s wise not to replant all the pieces you pull out since every one of those will need the same editing in a couple of years. Be it known that it’s perfectly acceptable, and usually desirable, to toss the excess in the compost pile.

So if your perennial garden is looking out of balance, take control!

This is an example of what happens when spreading perennials (aka "Thugs") are allowed to run amok. The peony is being overwhelmed by obedient plant and perennial asters. Once a perennial garden gets this bad it's difficult to take control again in that the roots of the thugs will be totally infesting the roots of the peony. The owner of this garden will be weeding those spreading plants out from the peony forever.

This is an example of what happens when spreading perennials (aka “Thugs”) are allowed to run amok. The peony is being overwhelmed by obedient plant and perennial asters. Once a perennial garden gets this bad it’s difficult to take control again in that the roots of the thugs will be totally infesting the roots of the peony. The owner of this garden will be weeding those spreading plants out from the peony forever.

Lysimachia punctata, aka circle flower, is one of the easier Lysimachias to control. The white flowering gooseneck loosestrife is more difficult to pull out and edit down.

Lysimachia punctata, aka circle flower, is one of the easier Lysimachias to control. The white flowering gooseneck loosestrife is more difficult to pull out and edit down.

 

lysimachia punctata

2 Comments

  1. Patricia Stebbins on October 9, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    I am re-doing a small garden and , first, am wondering if this is a good time to put in dwarf hardy hibiscus (have one, want two more); dwarf hostas, knock out roses and a few other things. Am also thinking of pulling out about 50 feet of overgrown hostas from along a fence, grassing it in but planting a small flowering tree and two or three hydrangeas. Any suggestions ?
    Thank you:)

    • CLFornari on October 9, 2014 at 10:04 pm

      Patricia,
      This is a fine time to plant as well as transplant. Just remember to water everything in well after you plant and to water deeply once a week as long as you can. If we get two or three weeks of dry, sunny weather later in the fall the plants could dry up and die in the winter. So charge ahead while you’re motivated, but keep an eye on your rain gauge and water if Mother Nature hasn’t delivered an inch of moisture each week.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Subscribe Our Newsletter

Sign up for our weekly email about sales and events.

Please enter a valid email address.
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.
Scroll To Top