Preparing for winter

Asked September 19, 2016, 5:55 PM EDT

I have questions about preparing plants for winter. These are the plants: Coneflowers, Milk Weed, Astilbe, Jacobs Ladder and Sweet Pea Vine. Also do I have to cut back my P.J.M. Rhodendron? Had a very good year this year and would like to have them all back in the Spring. Thank you

Hennepin County Minnesota horticulture

1 Response

Don't cut back this fall unless you have a plant with disease. In that case, cut that one back and dispose of the leaves. Leave the rest of your plants up to catch leaves and snow over the winter. That will help protect the crown from freeze/thaw. If you wish to add mulch after the ground is frozen you may do so. That is up to you. Your sweet pea vine probably will not come back as it is an annual here but they often self-seed. Do not cut back your rhodendron. If you need to trim it, do so immediately after the blooms fade in the spring. If you do any trimming now, you will cut off next spring's blossoms.