<p>by Amanda<\/p><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-8353" src="\/media\/wpuploads\/sites\/3\/2015\/10\/perennial-garden.jpg" alt="Staudenbeet mit Echinacea, Festuca, Agastache" width="700" height="369" \/>\r\n\r\nFall is the perfect time to get out, enjoy the cool weather and maintain your <a href="http:\/\/www.americanmeadows.com\/perennials">perennial gardens.<\/a> Whether you\u2019re cutting <a href="http:\/\/www.americanmeadows.com\/perennials">perennials<\/a> back, dividing varieties that have grown substantially, or digging up and moving plants that didn\u2019t do well this past season \u2013 fall is the time to do it.\r\n\r\n<strong>Cutting Back<\/strong>\r\n\r\nAlthough you may have the urge to cut everything down to the ground this fall, we recommend leaving several perennials standing through the fall and winter months. <a href="http:\/\/www.americanmeadows.com\/perennials\/sedum">Sedum<\/a> remains attractive all winter long, especially with a dusting of snow. Echinacea and Rudbeckia seeds are a tasty treat for birds. Some varieties, including Butterfly Weed and Coral Bells, don\u2019t like to be cut back, as their foliage protects the plants through the winter.\r\n\r\n<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-8349" src="\/media\/wpuploads\/sites\/3\/2015\/10\/sedum-autumn-fire.jpg" alt="sedum-autumn-fire" width="700" height="465" \/>\r\n<p style="text-align: center"><em>Some perennials, such as Sedum, remain attractive throughout the winter months and can be left as is.<\/em><\/p>\r\nHaving said that, it\u2019s important to cut back most of the perennials in your garden, as they usually can\u2019t tolerate the winter weather. They will also create an eye sore in the garden. We recommend cutting back perennials in your garden (except for the ones mentioned above) after the weather has cooled down significantly, but before the snow flies. Most varieties like to be cut down several inches from the ground. If the plant is diseased, remember not to compost the foliage.\r\n\r\n<strong>Dividing Plants<\/strong>\r\n\r\nThe best rule to dividing plants is not to wait until the plant has outgrown its space so much that it looks like it\u2019s dying. Divide healthy, large plants such as <a href="http:\/\/www.americanmeadows.com\/perennials\/iris\/bearded-iris">Iris<\/a> and <a href="http:\/\/www.americanmeadows.com\/perennials\/daylily">Daylilies<\/a> that are ready to be moved to other spots in the garden.\r\n\r\n<img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-8350" src="\/media\/wpuploads\/sites\/3\/2015\/10\/daylily-morrissette.jpg" alt="daylily-morrissette" width="300" height="225" \/>The cooler temperatures in fall allow for the quickest reestablishment of your <a href="http:\/\/www.americanmeadows.com\/perennials">perennials<\/a> after dividing and re-planting (or giving to a lucky friend). The plants will be able to establish new roots before the heat of summer arrives. Divide plants into smaller sections (about 20% of the original plant), as smaller plants actually have a better chance of survival. We don\u2019t recommend dividing while a plant is in bloom, but if you have to, be extra conscious of watering and care.\r\n\r\nAfter diving your plants, if you\u2019re not planting right away, we recommend wetting the roots and storing them in a cool, shady spot, covering them with newspaper to keep them moist. When re-planting, add an organic fertilizer to help boost the new plant\u2019s chances of growing strong in the garden.\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n<strong>Moving\/Re-Planting<\/strong>\r\n\r\nWe\u2019ve all done it \u2013 planted a Peony too deep so it doesn\u2019t bloom, or added a sun-loving variety where there\u2019s too much shade. Fall is the perfect time to try to correct your past growing errors and dig up, re-plant and move existing perennials. Like dividing plants, fall is the perfect time to move and re-plant varieties because the cooler temperatures allow for the root structures to get established before the warm season.\r\n\r\n<strong>Mulching<\/strong>\r\n\r\nAlthough Mulching isn\u2019t necessary in the fall, if you\u2019ve recently divided and re-planted small perennials, or have other new, tender additions to the fall garden, we recommend adding a layer of mulch to help protect them from the harsh winter.