Do I need to cut phlox for the winter: terms and rules for pruning

Do I need to cut phlox for the winter: terms and rules for pruning

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It is necessary to prune phloxes not only because dry stems and inflorescences spoil the appearance of the plant and the entire site in the autumn-winter period, but also so that they successfully overwinter and delight the eye with lush flowering next year. The main task of the gardener is to comply with the pruning time and carry out the procedure according to all the rules.

Do I need to prune phlox after flowering

If you do not plan to get phlox seeds, you need to cut off the inflorescences. This will allow the plant not to waste nutrients for seed formation and maintain the neat appearance of the flower bed. It must be remembered that this procedure stimulates the growth of lateral peduncles, therefore, leads to re-flowering.

Pruning faded phloxes, especially those blooming closer to autumn, is undesirable in regions with a short summer, since the second wave of flowering weakens the perennial before going into a dormant state. In this case, it is better to wait and prune in the fall in preparation for planting for winter. Also, pruning of faded phlox is combined with a full autumn haircut in varieties with a late flowering period.

Under natural conditions, wild phloxes hibernate with their stems, but cultivated plants need special care in order to preserve their decorative qualities as much as possible. Experienced gardeners name several reasons why phlox should be cut off after flowering for the winter:

  • destruction of pathogens and pest larvae in plant debris;
  • providing flowers with proper preparation for winter;
  • accumulation in the roots of nutrients necessary for wintering and subsequent vegetation;
  • maintaining the neat appearance of the garden in the winter.

Attention! When phlox is planted in autumn in open ground, as well as if it is necessary to obtain seed, the stems and faded inflorescences are not cut off.

After flowering, the peduncles are removed, leaving a stem 50 - 60 cm high. Many gardeners simply break off dry inflorescences in order to preserve the neat appearance of the flower bed. In the future, these shoots are also removed with complete pre-winter pruning.

When to prune phlox in the fall

Compliance with the terms of pruning phlox is an important condition for their decorative effect and preservation of health. Too early removal of stems after flowering prevents the formation of growth buds on the roots and stimulates vegetative processes. Late pruning robs the roots of the nutrients they need to successfully winter the flowers.

After flowering

In summer, faded phloxes are cut off immediately after flowering. Depending on the variety, the timing can vary from early July for very early varieties to mid-September for late flowering varieties.

After flowering, only peduncles are removed, while the stems are left until autumn pruning.

For winter

You can cut phloxes for the winter only after flowering is complete and all vegetative processes are stopped. Usually this procedure is carried out in October, taking into account the flowering time of a particular variety and adjusted for climatic conditions. Since the process of formation of growth buds ends shortly before the onset of the first frost, the pre-winter pruning of phlox should be done not earlier and not later than this time.

When to cut phloxes in the fall in the Moscow region and regions

The climate and flowering period determine the timing of phlox pruning in the fall. The main thing is to have time to cut the plants after the stems begin to dry, and before the first frost occurs.

In the Leningrad region

Phlox pruning in St. Petersburg and the Leningrad Region is carried out in early October. In the short autumn of this region, it is necessary to have time to remove the stems in the first 2 weeks of the month, until the soil temperature reaches negative values.

In Siberia

In Siberia, phloxes are either not cut off at all for the winter, or they leave 10 - 20 cm of the aboveground part. In this case, pruning is carried out in the last days of September - early October. In the conditions of severe Siberian frosts, the remnants of the stems keep the snow cover, which is the best insulation for the root system of the plant. This is especially true if phlox grow in open areas where the wind can blow off the snow cover. In addition, in this region, plants are mulched and insulated with spruce branches, corn or sunflower tops.

Attention! The more aerial parts of phlox remain for the winter, the higher the risk of plant damage from diseases and pests.

Some Siberian gardeners dig up flowers and place them in the basement for the winter, after transplanting them into containers. In the spring, they are again planted in the garden on a flower bed.

In the middle lane

In the climatic conditions of the middle zone, the autumn cooling occurs somewhat later, therefore, on its territory, in particular, in the Moscow region, phlox should be cut for the winter in the second decade of October when the weather is suitable.

How to properly prune phlox in the fall

In preparation for winter, several options for pruning a perennial are used:

  • complete removal of stems to ground level. It is allowed to leave the ground part with a height of no more than 2 cm;
  • cutting off stems at the level of 8–10 cm from the ground surface;
  • trimming at 20 cm.

Phlox lovers have no consensus as to which option to prefer. Most often, gardeners use the first pruning method, since longer stems impede the preparation of plants for winter and interfere with the growth of new shoots in the spring. Adherents of incomplete pruning believe that a small aerial part should be left, since it has growth buds, from which additional stems appear in the next season. However, opponents of this method notice that shoots growing from the remains of last year's stems are much weaker than those growing from root buds, and therefore do not have much value.

Most gardeners practice full phlox pruning.

Rules for pruning perennial phlox

To trim the stems, you will need a garden pruner, work gloves, and a disinfectant.

In order for phloxes to successfully overwinter, and next summer they please with abundant flowers and lush greenery, in the fall, after flowering, they need to be cut according to the following scheme:

  • the procedure is best done on a sunny dry day;
  • immediately before pruning, it is necessary to treat the land around the flowers with a fungicide;
  • be sure to disinfect the pruning shears with an alcohol-containing solution, concentrated potassium permanganate or by calcining the cutting surface on a fire;
  • cut the stems at right angles;
  • remove from the site and burn all plant residues.

Phlox care after pruning

Immediately after pruning phlox in the fall for the winter, ash and mineral fertilizers are applied under the remnants of the bushes. After a week and a half, the planting sites are mulched with peat, rotted compost, humus or fallen leaves. With the onset of winter, it is advisable to cover the plants with snow.


Phlox should not be cut off only if the flowers are planted on the site in the fall or seed collection is planned. Also, some lovers of these flowers in Siberia prefer spring pruning. In other cases, all perennial varieties need to be removed for the winter of the aboveground part. The procedure carried out in accordance with all the rules significantly increases the endurance of plants and has a positive effect on their decorative qualities.

Watch the video: How to Prune Perennial Plants For Winter (May 2022).

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