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Q.I am a beginner gardener. Can you answer on what I do with my perennial for winter if I give you the names?

Zone Milwaukee 53228 | NANA64 added on September 24, 2018 | Answered

I ask this question because I would like to know if I have to ask the question for each individual plant or if I can just give you a list. Do most get cut down in winter states or covered up? I’ve been trying to find answers to these questions for awhile or when I get time on the computer. Winter is coming fast this year here in Wisconsin and I would like to be out there getting these plants done before it’s so cold I can’t feel my fingers. Thank You for any kind of help you can give me. Sorry I have no pictures to show you.

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Answered on September 25, 2018

Most flowers that are hardy in Wisconsin don't need special winter prep. Snow is a great insulator and plant protector during winter. If your area doesn't reliably have snow cover, use a mulching mower or leaf shredder, run over the leaves then spread several inches over and around plants once they have lost their leaves and are dormant. I don't believe Gerbera daisy is perennial in Wisconsin. It is native to South Africa! If you want to keep them, bring them indoors as houseplants. They may be perennial in zone 10 but are grown as annuals in northern states. No amount of protection will see them through the winter outdoors, I'm afraid. The same is true of torenia. It is an annual flower which means it flowers, sets seed and dies all in one year. You can sow seed in spring for a display next year. Plants like daisies and bellflower can be cut down to 2-4 inches. Herbaceous plants die back to the ground every winter. The ostrich fern will completely disappear. Mark their location as it is easy to lose track of exactly where they are. Some shrubs and woody vines need special winter prep but your perennials, if they are listed for your zone, will get through winter on their own. Below is a link to wishbone flowers, Torenia. It is easy to start from seed. https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/flowers/wishbone/growing-wishbone-flowers.htm

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