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Plants to Cut Back Before Spring

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Don’t Be Shy: Cut These Plants Back Before Spring!

March is an ideal time to cut back the following garden plants. It is a much easier task before the new growth appears.

• Miscanthus (maiden grass), Pennisetum (fountain grass), Muhlenbergia (muhly grass) and Nassella (Mexican feather grass) to 3-6” above the ground.
• Liriope (monkey grass) before new growth appears.  Use a string trimmer for larger areas.
• Hardy fern - particularly evergreen forms before new growth appears.
• Epimedium (barrenwort) flowers early so don’t delay.
• Acorus (sweet flag) and Carex (sedge) only if the winter has browned the foliage.
• Prune out older branches on Cornus sericea, C. sanguinea, Cornus alba (red twig dogwoods) to encourage new growth, which will have the brightest color next winter.
• Rejuvenate overgrown Nandina, cutting back to a few inches on the outside, leaving taller canes in the center, staggering the heights.
• Look closely at grafted plants and remove all growth below the graft. Commonly grafted plants include witch hazels, contorted filberts, weeping cherries, weeping mulberries, dogwoods, fruit trees, crabapples, grafted roses, and Japanese maples.

(pictured: Brushed Burgundy™ shrub dogwood)

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