We are officially preparing for the final phases of cold weather! Though the weather is relatively chilly here in the south, we are already enjoying pockets of warmer air that indicate spring is on the way.
In terms of lawncare and gardening, late winter is the optimal time to prune fall-blooming plants and trees like crape myrtles, as well as ornamental grasses, which don’t need much upkeep but certainly benefit from pruning. When crepe myrtles are leafless, like in the winter, it’s the best time to see the architecture of the plant, and make wise, careful pruning decisions to maintain the integrity of the shape, and allow for future seasons of full, vibrant leaves and flowers.
Ornamental grasses and crape myrtles may not look similar, but both share some qualities, one obvious trait being they should both be pruned at the same time. Additionally, both can demonstrate long-term beauty benefits throughout the year from just a little bit of attention at the end of the colder season.
Another thing both ornamental grasses and crape myrtles have in common is they are disliked by deer. If you live in an area where deer enjoy eating your plants, consider integrating ornamental grasses and crape myrtles into your yard to keep the hungry pests away!
Get your sheers ready, and follow these easy tips to get your ornamental grasses and crape myrtles ready for upcoming seasons of colorful beauty!
- Start with a consultation. Before you undertake a major pruning endeavor, call a professional landscaper in to advise you on how to select the right tools and how to correctly prune problem areas. Pruning is an exacting job, but if you’re worried, you don’t have to be! Heffner Landscaping has the experience and expertise to help you with your pruning, and can even take over the job for you, giving you back time and saving you energy.
- Select the right pruning tools. If you decide to take on the job yourself, after talking to a professional landscaper, select the right pruning tools. There are several types of saws, shears, and pruners that can get the job done, most of which you probably have on hand or can access without much trouble. Grasses won’t need heavy sawing tools, but depending on the size of your crape myrtle, you may need a bow saw or a pruning saw. Hand pruners, lopping shears, and hedge shears are commonly found in garages and sheds around the country, and can be a good pruning “starter kit.” If you are not sure which tool to use, give us a call! Also clean your tools properly before and after use to minimize risks of spreading disease or infection among your plants.
- Make careful cuts. Remember: the most growth occurs about six to eight inches from where you make your cuts on stems and branches. As you prune, consider if your grasses or crape myrtles should be thinned in any areas, and in addition to shaping, remove suckers and dead pieces, as well as untangle any overlapping branches or leaves.
- Enjoy your plants during spring, summer, and fall. Crape myrtles and ornamental grasses give you seasons of growth, blooms, and beauty. They may need water and occasional trims, but otherwise both types of plants are relatively low-maintenance but awe-inspiring and beautiful.
A late-winter pruning gives your ornamental grasses and crape myrtles their best chance at vibrance for the rest of the year. Happy pruning, and contact us for pruning consultations or any questions you may have!