Ladies Mantles and fall division of perennials. Also, Stokesia - Knowledgebase Question

kalamazoo, MI
Avatar for dfgquilter
Question by dfgquilter
July 28, 2010
When is the earliest in the fall that I can safely transplant or divide my perennials?

My Ladies Mantles were gorgeous all summer. Now , they are showing signs that they are done for the summer. The tiny yellow flowers are turning brown. Should I cut them back? If so, how far?
Is there anything else I should do to care for them?
How do I care for my Stokesia?Do they need mulching? Which fertilizer and when?
Thanks so much... Dorian

Answer from NGA
July 28, 2010
You can dig and divide your perennials when they have stopped performing. This might be after your first frost of the season or it might be in late summer, such as the case of your Lady's Mantle. You can prune off the spent flowers and their stems, down to foliage level to disguise them. You can also dig and divide them now. Once Stokesia has finished flowering you can cut off the flowering stalk, down to ground level. I always mulch over the soil in the fall after I've pruned the perennials down to ground level. You can feed your perennials each spring with a 10-10-10 time release fertilizer and it will release nutrients throughout the growing season. Enjoy your garden!

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