I have 3 Gaura plants that I love. I planted them this past spring. I read that they may not be winter hardy in my 5b zone. I will cover them with straw for the winter. My question is, should I cut them down prior to covering them? Also, when is a good time to cover them?
Gaura is one of those perennials that isn't long-lived so it is best to let them go to seed at the end of the season. My gaura have made it through zone 5 winters without any special care. You may have a special cultivar that is less hardy; I don't know. Cut the stems down all the way; the plant sends up new ones next year. The leaves may be left intact. Mulch with a mixture of chopped/shredded leaves and wood mulch. Snow is a great insulator for plants so you can always pile it over the gaura but remove excess snow when spring melt starts.