Answer: In my experience, this plant is better considered a semi evergreen when grown in zone 6 -- the colder end of its range. First year plants will be more prone to winter damage because they are not yet fully rooted and established. Over the years you may find that they do better/worse depending on the severity of the winter, and on the microclimate where they are planted. In a severe winter, you may find there is some winter damage to the stems, as well, but they should recover quickly. You should see new foliage growth in spring.
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