The Q&A Archives: covering plants for winter

Question: I am located in northern south dakota and am preparing my raised flower beds for winter. I have some wigela bush, mums, aster,hosta and dragon's blood planted and would like them to survive our sometimes harsh winters. Any suggestions on how to cover them? Thanks much.

Answer: The first step is to allow a frost to kill back the tops of your plants. With all but the weigela, cut away the dead leaves and stems and then cover over the tops of the plants with several inches of mulch (leaves, pine boughs, straw, etc.) You can leave the weigela alone until spring and wait for buds to swell on the branches or new sprouts to emerge from the crown of the plant. If no new buds develop on the branches, cut the branches down to ground level. New stems will sprout from the crown of the plant.

Best wishes with your garden!

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