Zone 5 We have had warmer weather than usual . I covered my perennials with some leaves but more leaves blew on top of those already down and now I think some of my plants were smothered and died...some look very yellow. The tall ones did okay. Have I lost the yellowing ones for good? Will they resurrect in the Spring.? What's the next step? Thanks everyone.. AnnFran
The yellowing may be caused by lack of sun from the extra leaves...I would check the crown, where the plant meets the ground to make sure there is not too much moisture being held close to the plant causing rot. You can scrape the leaves back a bit to allow better light and airflow until the plant goes dormant. It could also just be the plant preparing to go dormant for winter.
I would heed what Themoon and Carolyn have gone with, I really do think as we are into November / December time, your plants are going into a natural winters rest, Most Perennials do dormant earlier but as you mentioned, they have flowered longer due to good weather, BUT, they need a rest period and yellowing of the foliage is usually the first sign Now, end of season, the leaf cover will help protect them from snow /ground frost etc BUT, you can scrape away some leaf cover AND cut back the foliage till the frost really hits, I do think everything is going the way it should and come spring when you see some new green shoots appear, I always give the root area a handful of of multi purpose plant feed or some dried chicken manure you buy both at the garden center, don't over feed or you will get loads of soft growth at the expense of nice flowers.
Hope we have all helped a bit between us and good luck. WeeNel.
the smaller and thinner the leaves, the more effective it is for a winter cover-if you have a lot. my saucer magnolia in ny used to provide tons of mulch for the plants, but it forms an absolute sponge of a carpet. you can even peel it away from the ground in spring, thats how carpet like it was. those leaves are quite think and large. - just my input. hope you figure it out.
The best way I know to break down autumn fall leaves is when you gather them, lay them on the lawn and run the mower over them (a couple of times if required) I put the grass gathering box on the mower and it gathers the finer chopped up leaves, they can then either be stored in wire cage for composting or placed directly onto the beds, all depending on what type of leaves you have and what plants you are trying to protect.
Happy gardening WeeNel.