KSL GREENHOUSE

Time to pull annuals and cut back perennials

Nov 12, 2022, 6:02 PM
Jaydee Gunnell, professor at USU, joined the KSL Greenhouse show to discuss why we should be pulli...
Jaydee Gunnell, professor at USU, joined the KSL Greenhouse show to discuss why we should be pulling back annuals and cutting back perennials. (Photo credit: Larry Sagers)
(Photo credit: Larry Sagers)

SALT LAKE CITY — It is that time of the year to start pulling annuals and cutting back perennials. Trimming back perennials in the fall is a great way to have your flowerbeds looking tidy through the winter, and it allows them to grow and bloom better the following year.

Jaydee Gunnell, extension professor at Utah State University joined Taun and Maria on the KSL Greenhouse show to discuss how we should be pulling back annuals and cutting back perennials.

What to do with annuals

Jaydee says there are benefits and drawbacks when planting annuals in your garden. 

“The one good thing with annuals is that they’ll bloom all year long… but as soon as the cold weather hits, they kick the bucket,” says Gunnell. He recommends digging them up, putting it in a compost pile, or sending them to the green waste and purchasing the compost back again next spring.

Cutting back perennials

Perennials have the benefit of planting them once, and they will grow back again using the same root system as before. You don’t need to pull them every year like annuals.

The downside of perennials is that they only bloom for two to three weeks in their season. Jaydee recommends doing research on when you want your plants to bloom, you can find perennials that bloom early in spring, some that bloom over the summer, and you can even find ones that bloom in fall.

Taking care of perennials can be a choose-your-own-adventure according to Jaydee, “You can cut the perennials down after they have naturally wilted, dried down or frozen, but if you don’t get around to it… or you can go in the spring and clean them up.”

Taun notes that cleaning perennials in the spring can be more difficult, and they can sometimes get slimy and messy. It is not too late yet to cut back on your perennials, you can still clean them up before winter comes.

For tips on how to divide perennials and cutting back them back, list to the podcast below!


The KSL Greenhouse is on every Saturday from 8-11 a.m. You can follow the show on FacebookInstagram, and YouTube.

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