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Re­store or­der and tidi­ness, and re­duce the chance of dis­eases and pests spread­ing, by chop­ping down most dead peren­nial stems to the ground.

Leave the way for fresh growth to make its way through in spring, un­en­cum­bered by old, wet and saggy stems.

Dy­ing stems, bat­tered about by wind and rain, may dam­age the crowns of plants, so tuck them away from the weather by cut­ting back.

Leave pen­ste­mons and hy­drangeas be un­til spring – the stems of the plant can pro­tect th­ese frost-prone peren­ni­als from any freez­ing tem­per­a­tures.

Leave any­thing that’s shel­tered and sturdy and looks healthy to stay put un­til spring. How to Us­ing sharp se­ca­teurs, shears or a knife, cut close to the crown. Com­post ev­ery­thing ex­cept ob­vi­ously dis­eased plant ma­te­rial, which should be dis­posed of or burnt. If new fo­liage or stem growth is al­ready show­ing, cut only to above this. Mulch well around ev­ery plant you cut down.

Re­mem­ber Leave ever­green peren­ni­als un­til spring and sum­mer for a trim and a tidy up of dead fo­liage.

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