Seasonal Landscaping Maintenance Tips



  • Cleanup Landscape
  • Cutback ornamental grasses, all types of Ferns, all varieties of Liriope, Epimedium, Sambucus canadensis, Salix purpurea 'Nana', Cotinus, Buddleia, and Caryopteris. Call the office to determine if any particular Tamarix that's in your design was planted to be cut back.
  • Prune landscape shrubs and hedges before the bud break. (For hedges, the bottom should be wider than the top.) Prune any summer-flowering shrubs (including Rosa, Hydrangea, Hibiscus syriacus (Rose of Sharon), Spiraea, or Clethra.
  • Prune vines on trellises as needed. Cut back Clematis paniculata to 1/3 of its size. Do not cut any other Clematis species until after they bloom.
  • Do not prune any of the "bleeders"-Betula (Birches), Acer (Maples), Cladrastis lutea (Yellowwood)
  • Fertilize landscape perennial beds when the ground thaws
  • Apply Mulch if necessary. Do not cover with more than three inches especially around perennials. Do not build mounds around the root flares of trees.
  • Apply elemental Sulphur or Aluminum Sulphate to acid-loving shrubs that are not a good green color.


  • Remove winter mulch from around roses and any other tender perennials
  • Partially cut back Lavendula (Lavenders), Iberis (Candytuft), Bergenia cordifolia, and Helleborus (Lenten Rose)
  • Weed landscaping
  • Apply pre-emergent weed control according to directions. Water-in by hand if no rain is in the forecast.
  • Be patient with late-emerging perennials such as Ceratostigma plumbaginoides (Plumbago) and Platycodon grandiflorus (Balloon Flower)
  • Be on the look-out for Euonymous scale.


  • Weed Landscaping
  • Cut back or pinch back (to 6") all relatives of the Chrysanthemum family: Dendranthemum, Nipponanthemum, and Leucanthemum. Cut back all of the members of the Aster family. If you pinch back mums, do so every two weeks until July 4. Other flowering species that can be pinched back to control a more orderly growth habit are: Monarda, Phlox, Boltonia, and Physostegia.
  • Rub off trunk buds that will create suckers and water sprouts
  • Prune spring-flowering shrubs after bloom: Deutzia, Forsythia, and all members of the Rhododendron family (that includes the wide assortment of deciduous and evergreen Azaleas.)
  • Look for lacebug or spider mite damage on Azalea, Pieris japonica, and Aster. Spray them mid- to late May if necessary.
  • Look for four lined plant bug, slug and black vine weevil damage.
  • Look for aphids in landscape.
  • Apply Roundup or similar herbicide on weeds where necessary. Exercise caution not to overspray.


  • Weed Landscape
  • After Iberis and Dianthus finish blooming, shear back half way.
  • Cut stalks of Iris to the ground. Let the leaves remain until fall.
  • Pinch back Chrysanthemum and all members of related families. Apply liquid fertilizer.
  • Remove criss-crossed or damaged branches of Malus (Crabapple), Cornus (Dogwood), Prunus (Cherry and Plum), and Pyrus (Pear).
  • Pinch back late summer perennials for height control: Sedum 'Herbstfreude' (can cut back to ½ when about eight inches) Monarda, Aster, Boltonia (by ½). Pinch off tips of Perovskia when twelve inches tall.
  • Cut off any winter-killed tips on Lavendula
  • Cut back Oriental Poppy stems immediately after flowering.
  • Shear the following perennials to the ground after bloom: all floppy Geranium and Nepeta (if you prefer a more tailored garden!)
  • Deadhead Campanula, Platycodon, Hemerocallis, Phlox, Scabiosa, Dicentra.
  • Fertilize Roses
  • Look for four lined plant bugs, bagworms and Japanese beetles.
  • Does the garden and its plants look like they need water???


  • Weed Landscaping
  • Deadhead landscape flowers: Achillea, Heliopsis, Salvia, Scabiosa, Hemerocallis, etc.
  • Deadhead/shear Coreopsis and Lavendula for rebloom.
  • Prune out any yellowed or insect-damaged foliage on Oriental Poppies and Aquilegia.
  • Prune out any suckers on trees.
  • Apply Roundup or similar herbicide as needed.
  • Look for Japanese beetles and spider mites.
  • Does the garden and its plants look like they need water???



  • Weed Landscape
  • Cut back Shasta Daisies and Monarda to basal foliage. Cut back Lamium to the ground when it gets tatty looking. Look for any other plants that might need cutting back or grooming.
  • Deadhead perennials and annuals: Cosmos, Zinnias, Geranium, Marigolds, Petunias, Snapdragons.
  • Apply pre-emergence herbicide for winter annual weed to protect your garden from a weed growth in the spring.
  • Look for the fall webworm tents and prune out or shoot with stream of water.
  • Look for second generation Euonymous scale.
  • Pinus strobus begins its normal interior needle drop.
  • Does the garden and its plants look like they need water???


  • Weed Landscape
  • Apply Roundup or similar herbicide as necessary.
  • Deadhead late-summer bloomers such as Echinacea and Heliopsis.
  • Look for Tsuga (Hemlock) woolly adelgid.
  • Does the garden and its plants look like they need water???


  • Begin to clean up the gardens and landscaping for winter.
  • Scatter super phosphate around Paeonia and other heavy feeders.
  • Plant spring-flowering bulbs.
  • After hard frosts, clip excess Hedera helix (Ivy) and Parthenocissus tricuspidata (Virginia creeper) around walls and windows.
  • Cut back Monarda and members of the Mentha (Mint) family. Get rid of any debris where four lined plant bugs over-winter.
  • Cut back Iris, Hemerocallis and Paeonia to the ground to get rid of and diseased foliage.
  • Don't cut back ferns-fronds protect tender crowns.
  • Don't cut back ornamental grasses (unless you prefer a clean-lined winter look), all varieties of Liriope, Epimedium, Sambucus canadensis, Salix purpurea 'Nana', Cotinus, Buddleia, and Caryopteris. You decide about the rest of the material to be added to the cut/don't cut list.


  • Complete garden and landscape clean up in preparation for winter.
  • Cover Hybrid Tea Roses with twelve inches of Mulch
  • Do not prune plants with attractive winter interest. See the list from above. But also consider Coreopsis, Sedum, etc.
  • Clean all tools and equipment before winter storage.