to cut back or not to cut back?

Orlando, FL(Zone 9b)

at this time of year, especially after daylight savings, i know most things will slow down or die back or go dormant etc. but, what do you do with plants that normally keep growing but are dying back? for example, my pentas are all drying up even with water. i'm a little concerned about pruning, having tender new growth, and then damage should there be a freeze.

appreciate any advice

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

Wait until Feb. or March to cut back. I do it the day after Valentine's Day.

Orlando, FL(Zone 9b)

thanks! does that apply to fertilizing as well?

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

Yes, as far as I've learned from reading - I don't fertilize my plants but once a year, with Bayer - works for me!

Orlando, FL(Zone 9b)

thanks! i think i should try Bayer this spring then. i have only used Miracle-Gro

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

I used to use miricle grow but learned it doesn't last long at all. Now I use slow release twice a year on everything. Plus I amend the soil with cow manure and fish emulsion on both veggies and ornamentals and they seem to thrive if they are planted in right spot.
I don't prune anything until cold is past. I did prune once early and really killed a lot of plants cause cold came along later.
Always learning and somtimes the hard way.
Kay has a good way of remembering pruning time.

Orlando, FL(Zone 9b)

thanks! i think i will be making the switch from Miracle, it would save money too.
and i will wait to prune.
i might have to start picking up manure instead of Miracle Gro soil "on sale". the advertising is what gets me to buy it.

Lee's Summit, MO(Zone 6a)

Remember that the manure will be full of weed seeds, so you will be pulling weeds if you use it.

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

My gardens always had weeds no matter what I used for fertilizer. With using manure best thing to do is let it rot down and I pull any large weeds out before I put it on gardens.
If anyone has a weed free garden without weeding I need to learn about it. I also use mulch and weed barrier fabric which helps a lot.

Gainesville, FL(Zone 9a)

Id like to know if anyone has a weed free garden even with weeding.
I finally gave in a couple years ago and just keep round up mixed up and ready to spray 24/7. Its so much better than when I tried to pull them. Only exception is daylilies, cant really get to close with the round up, and the weeds know it ;-)
I remember about 4 years ago when we had a very cold winter, it froze hear down in the high teens, everything in the yard was dead, but the weeds were happy as clams.

Orlando, FL(Zone 9b)

thanks for all the advice.

i haven't gotten to using the winterguard weed and feed lawn fertilizer this year. i guess i will just wait for the spring feeding. anyway, now the spiny weeds with the fluffy seed heads are showing up. at least there aren't as much of the incredible nuisance beggarweeds.

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

I've been pulling weeds for years and lately everybody thinks I have a ground cover planted and tells me how nice it looks so I have decided to just leave it in all the flower beds as it is all the same stuff. I don't know what it is but its neat looking. Now tall weeds I can't stand and pull them.

Question: I have some 8 ft. tall shrubs of cleradendron that spreads and looks great but never blooms. It is the kind that is called starburst or something like that. . When I bought it years ago it was blooming but never has since. I'm thinking of yanking some of them out. Any ideas?
Bonnie

Orlando, FL(Zone 9b)

in spring i will ask my neighbor for some of their clerodendrum. i posted a thread about cuttings, and glad for the advice. i didn't even know what the plant was called.

could it be the cold knocking it back?

Clermont, FL(Zone 9a)

Not sure about the cold but it grows tall like crazy and really spreads. One nurseryman that stopped by last week told me maybe I was fertilizing too much causing foliage growth in stead of blooming. My poor plants are lucky if they get fertilized twice a year so don't think thats it. Anyhow I am tired of lookig at all of them so I'm going to dig some out and plant something ele in their places for a change.
Haven't bought many plants lately and if I'm not careful I'll have withdrawel.
Happy gardening all.

mid central, FL(Zone 9a)

bonnie, that particular clero blooms in late fall and winter so if it is getting cut back by a frost or freeze, you won't have blooms. it's the purple leaf we're talking about, right?

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