FIRST A DISGUSTINGLY PERSONAL PROMOTION - MY LIFE PARTNER NANCY SZERLAG HAS A BOOK ON PERENNIALS FOR MICHIGAN. VIRTUALLY ALL THE INFORMATION WORKS FOR FOLKS LIVING EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER AND NORTH OF TENNESSEE. IT IS A GREAT BOOK FOR THOSE OF YOU JUST DIPPING YOUR TOE INTO THE WORLD OF PERENNIALS
NANCY'S BOOK IS AVAILABLE FROM AMAZON.COM.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT PERENNIALS
When do I cut back my perennials?
Spent flowers can be cut off as soon as flowering has finished, to prevent the plant from expending energy forming seed instead of growing more roots or stems. Cutting off spent flowers is called deadheading, and it also helps keep the garden looking neat and trim, and may encourage rebloom in some varieties. The plant itself should be allowed to grow until most of the stems and leaves have yellowed, usually after a hard frost in fall. Cut the plant down close to the ground; if there is a small mound of foliage at the base of the plant, allow that to remain.
Some years ago Liz Ball wrote the following article about how to decide if a perennial is really what they call a "better plant". This is an article more for gardeners than for yardeners but for anyone interested in perennials it is a wonderful article.
Perennials for All Reasons: Better Plants for Your Home Landscape.
by Liz Ball