Cut Down Wild Flowers For Winter?

  1. They’re still blooming and look lush and green, so I would leave them for now. It is beneficial to leave them until spring so birds and wildlife can use the foliage as cover - but it’s still quite early to cut them back based on the image you’ve shared here. Wait until the first frost - or until they stop blooming and the leaves and stems begin to change color.

  2. Yes. I will add that if you are going to cut them, leave 12” of stem for overwintering beneficial insects and critters to take up home.

  3. I second this. Leaving them up until spring provides birds and pollinators with food and shelter during the cold winter months.

  4. I don’t know the answer to your question but I LOVE the color of your house and front door and your wildflowers!

  5. It is personal preference. It is a neater look to cut them back in the fall but it is helpful for bugs and wildlife to leave them up all winter. Also your house is adorable!

  6. But is that a golf course mentality? Could we reconsider what and where and when and why we think "neat and tidy"? What if it is a time conservation method (me) of not doing the "fall cleanup"? Or it helps the micro ecology of the garden?

  7. I do want them back, yes. The question is whether I should trim, and reseed in Spring, or let them be. I know they are helpful for local birds, bees, etc

  8. Leave em be ... for the bees and other wild life. They will naturally leave the area for winter and food + shelter will be there to gather as much as they can.

  9. No, no, no, no, no! They are used by all manner of wildlife all year round. I only cut mine in spring after new growth has started underneath. Song birds will continue to feed on the seeds and whatever insects harbor there all winter.

  10. Those cosmos will flower past first frost and look great for a while. After they get crispy, you’ll probably want to cut them back before winter snows and rain. Their reproductive advantage is that the seed heavily (nice) but flop and rot into a wet mush that snuffs out all nearby plant competition (not so nice).

  11. Leave until next spring! Protects the soil, and the bugs and the bacteria, provides coverage for critters and overall is healthier for the ecosystem of your yard. Once they die off a bit more you can trip them back so it’s not hanging all over, but leave some of the dead plants and leaves to cover the soil

  12. I typically let them all do whatever they want in the winter… The wildflowers that create a hearty woody- like dead shrub left over I usually remove those

  13. After they seed, wait for the heads to brown and get crunchy then wait a few weeks. You’ll see the seeds and can even shake the heads to make them fall out. I love cosmos.

  14. I don't cut anything back until spring unless it's diseased or I don't want them to self seed. My cosmos in particular are munched on by local hares in winter, it keeps them from eating my other trees and plants. They always self seed too so I never have to fuss with planting them!

  15. Yeah make sure to knock all of the seeds off of them as they develop before removing them if you want. I let mine die naturally then kinda mulch them where they grow. The seeds will over winter where they fall and grow again in spring. Edit: by mulch I just kinda step on them until they are kinda flat lol

  16. Save to cut until spring as the stems can help protect roots from frost as well as providing food and cover for many animals and insects

  17. I don’t get it. They’re wildflowers. No one cuts wildflowers in the forest for over wintering, so why the need to do it in your yard?

  18. If you want to be inviromentally friendly it's best to leave it even when it's all dried up and brown! A lot of animals/insect nestle There to get thru the Winter. It provides shelter and warmth for lots of wildlife, I usually just cut back the whole garden just before the new growing season begins! But u can cut it whenever u want if u don't like the look Of it ofc!

  19. Good rule of thumb is to do what Nature does! Perennials die back and provide habitat for overwintering species of many beneficial insects as well as set their seed to show again!

  20. Leave those in until they completely finish their bloom. The wild flowers at mine (UK), are still in bloom, amazingly. I'm going to keep in the ground, strim then leave it where it is, they'll die and offer nutrients for the spring bloomers once decomposed.

  21. If you live in a wet and humid climate during winter months (lots of rain) then it is sometimes best to let them go to seed, leave them a few weeks and then chop them and remove the foliage to compost. We have a powdery fungus and some unwanted pest bugs that thrives on the decaying plants during the winter. We found removing the plants to compost around late December was the best of both worlds. At our old house, we left them until spring without issues. So it’s all dependent on location and trial and error.

  22. Let Mother Nature handle it. Wildflowers do best in wildflower conditions, they really dont need human intervention, and are programmed to go to seed and repopulate on their own.

  23. I say, let them go to seed and cut them later once the seeds have dropped. Then they will just grow next season with our having to do anything. Permaculture. Boom.

  24. One of my absolute favorite flowers! I can’t wait to do this in my back yard when I own a home! It looks so good!

  25. Cut them when they die and get woody. Then leave them for the butterflies/moths that cocoon over winter in dead leaves and things for camouflage

  26. The annuals look like cosmos. I pull mine when they start to turn brown. I leave the seed heads behind so they’ll come back next year.

  27. cosmo seeds are super fun and easy to harvest, i would wait until the seed heads look like little fireworks before u cut them down

  28. So lucky you can do that! I live in Northern Michigan as well and we tried that but got a letter in the mail from the township to mow or they will fine us and mow our yard for we cannot achieve our dream of all wildflowers front yard. :'(

  29. You could trim them when they are done flowering and pull the annuals. It will save a great deal of cleanup time come spring

  30. Leave them until spring, as others have said. If you want, divide each side up into even clumps and tie them up, for a more manicured or deliberate look.

  31. When the leaves drop and dissappear, get some gold and silver paint (any color you prefer) , and paint each individual dried out plant their own winter color. It will give the garden a Beetlejuice art nuveax.

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