Fall Frustrations - Knowledgebase Question

memphis, tn
Avatar for epatterson4
Question by epatterson4
November 15, 2006
I have several plants that I planted in the late Spring without knowing much about what would happen to them in the Fall. Now I'm wondering if what is happening is normal or if they are sick/dying. The first one is my Japanese Maple. Actually, this one was planted several years ago, but since I just moved into the house in the Spring, I haven't seen it in the fall yet. Is it normal for it drop all of its leaves after they turn golden? The second one is a mt airy fothergilla. THe leaves went from green to gold in a short period of time. Will they fall off? Are they supposed to? Lastly, I have several variegated solomon's seals. One has totally fallen out of the ground after turning yellow. The others lost all of their leaves. Is this normal? And what should I do with the remaining stems? Do I cut them down? Pull them out? Leave them alone? Your help is most appreciated!


Answer from NGA
November 15, 2006
I think what you are seeing is pretty normal. Both the Japanese maple and fothergilla are deciduous, which means they will turn color and drop all of their foliage every year in the fall. They should grow new leaves next spring.

Solomon's seal is an herbaceous perennial, meaning it dies back completely in the fall and regrows anew from its roots in the spring each year. As the weather turns colder it will discolor and the stems will die back. Once they are dried out, you can clip them off at ground level if you wish. If they are growing in a more casual garden or naturalistic setting you can leave them where they fall, the leaves and stems will provide a bit of natural mulch for the plants and help feed the soil.

Enjoy the seasonal changes in your garden!

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