The Q&A Archives: Last years perinnials

Question: My mother in law helped me last April clean up my flowers, I didn't pay attention! Should I cut any of them or trim them so they will grow again this year? This will be their 3rd spring. Also, I have a climbing rose bush which went crazy last year. Not with roses but vines. It looked so healthy just no roses! The vines are still there and they are huge, my trelace is too small....

Answer: Sounds like your climbing rose needs to be pruned back and thinned out. Nows the time to do it. Begin by removing all but 4-6 canes. Choose the healthiest looking canes to retain and cut off all the others. The ones you keep should be the younger green canes. Spread the canes out. The only pruning you do on the main cane is to simply cut it back on the tips so it fits the surface of the trellis the plant is covering. Do not cut the canes severely as you do with the other types, because a climbing rose produces canes one year and they do not flower until the second year.

As for cleaning up the garden, the rule of thumb is to cut down to ground level any of the plants that have died over the winter months. If the tops of your perennials still look healthy, you won't need to cut them down at all.

Hope this answers all your questions!

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