Tidy border perennials
Many herbaceous plants provide visual interest in the autumn and on into winter with their ornamental seedheads and foliage even when they have died back. In addition, their old stems may also provide a few degrees of frost protection to the crowns of less hardy species – agapanthus, salvias and zantedeschia – as well as to countless insects and other forms of garden wildlife. For the most part, therefore, it pays to ignore your ‘tidiness gene’.
What to cut Delphiniums, lupins and anything with stems that are already in a state of collapse.
Where to cut Take stems down to a node – the place where you can tell leaves will sprout from next year. Most herbaceous plants can be safely cut to the ground.
When to cut When you can see that flopping herbaceous plants are smothering other plants.
Delphiniums won’t stay statuesque in the winter border
Geraniums tolerate being cut right to their base