Perennial flowers are called because after the end of the growing season their root system, and sometimes the aboveground part, does not die. The development only stops at the time of winter, so that in spring the plant awakens and quickly grows.
If in the warm season decorative perennials require minimal maintenance, then with the arrival of autumn, the grower needs to think about protecting his green pets from the cold. What it will be depends on the climatic characteristics of the region, as well as the winter hardiness of the crops grown on the site.
Ways of preparing perennials for winter
To ensure the safety of perennial flowers, use:
- crown trimming;
- mulch soil under the crop;
- with warming of the living above-ground part remaining above the ground.
These events are most often carried out in a comprehensive manner, and non-frost-resistant species and most of the bulbous ones, except those blooming in early spring, are dug up and stored until spring in warm or cool dry rooms.
Frost-resistant, grassy species are enough to cut, and sprinkle the soil in a flower bed with suitable mulch. All nutrients, as well as points of future growth in such crops are underground, so after mulching and snow cover, nothing threatens the flowers.
Peculiarities of the pre-winter pruning of perennials
Since the warm season the aboveground part of the plants is involved in the accumulation of nutrients for the winter, it is better to prune it by the arrival of the first autumn frosts. Such a period in most regions begins in September and ends closer to the second half of October.
What does perennial trimming do? Removal of the dead part:
- eliminates the preservation of pest larvae in dry stalks;
- reduces the risk of spreading putrefactive and fungal diseases, including root decay;
- facilitates shelter and mulching flowers for the winter.
Pruning height depends on the size and structure of ornamental plants.
Low-growing small plants are cut at ground level, in larger specimens with powerful, often semi-woody shoots, the lower part of the stems is left. On them in the spring you can accurately determine the location of the plant, and in the winter they will additionally hold the snow and will serve as a natural protection.
The most frost-resistant, perennial flowers, for example, cornfield, aquilegia, rudbeckia, astilbe and other species, are cut, leaving no more than 5 cm above the ground from the height of the stems.
Delphiniums and similar tall plants with powerful hollow stems cut off the leaves, leaving at least 25 cm.flowerFor the winter to survive such plants as irises, their internal leaves for a couple of weeks before the onset of cold weather pruned to 10-centimeter height. Curly one-year shoots of clematis and other similar crops are shortened so that in the shelter during the winter their green parts do not freeze and rot.
How to cover perennial flowers for the winter?
If the above-ground part of the perennial does not die off, or the winter-hardiness of the species is in doubt, it is better to err and arrange a shelter for such a flower. Depending on the type and size of the plant, the protection is done:
- from fir or pine spruce branches;
- layer of soil or mulch;
- nonwoven fabric;
- using boxes filled with chips or other loose, non-impregnating moisture mulch material;
- other auxiliary materials protecting flowers from cold air.
Over-built homemade winter houses are covered with waterproof material so that water does not accumulate inside the structures, and plants do not rot during the thaw.
This is the case with chrysanthemums, not winter-hardy varieties of roses, climbing plants that are previously removed from the trellis and inclined to the ground sprinkled with mulch. Perennial flowers wintering on the alpine hills can be covered not together, but together. For this, dense nonwoven fabric is well suited. To ensure that the protection is truly of high quality, the edges of the canvas are covered with soil, so that it does not shift.
Straw and fallen leaves can attract harmful insects and rodents, preserve and spread fungal and bacterial infections dangerous for plants. In addition, the leaves clot during the winter and contribute to the development of preli. Therefore it is better to refuse such materials for mulching. As mulch experienced flower growers advise to use needles, sawdust, soil mixed with humus, dried shavings.
The species most unsuitable for the frosty winter need to be digged and stored in conditions suitable for a particular crop. Primroses are left in the ground, but they must be thickly mulched and additionally covered with snow in winter.
The snow cover on beds with perennials should be at least 50–80 cm. It is impossible to lower the caking of the snow and the formation of a dense solid crust, otherwise the plants simply spring out in the spring.