It’s Time To Prune! Here Are 6 Plants You Should ALWAYS Prune In Fall

by John Griffith

Gardening season is still in full swing during the fall. There are still plenty of things to do around the garden this season, especially tidying up. Fall is the perfect time to prepare all your beautiful plants for the harsh winter conditions that are to come and to ensure they will blossom with full force next year. A great way to do so is by cutting them back. Of course, not all plants benefit from a fall pruning, but for some it is essential. For plants that form their buds on new growth, this season is the perfect time to cut them back. This will ensure they stay protected from certain diseases, have protection against the cold, and they will have plenty of stunning blooms next season. Here are some of the plants you should always prune in fall.

Gardening season is still in full swing during the fall

prune in fall pruining plant with shears

Plants You Should Prune In Fall

When it comes to pruning a rule to keep in mind is that bloom time is the key to when you should prune. Not all plants like to be pruned this season. Those that grow new blooms on old wood should be left alone. However, plants that form their buds on new growth really benefit from getting cut back. Pruning them can help make them hardier which will help them against the tough winter conditions, and it will encourage new growth once spring comes around. As gardeners, we all want what is best for our precious plants, so make sure you prune, trim, and shear these plants this chilly season.

Pruning can help make the plants hardier 

pruning sheers


Sun-loving Mediterranean shrubs, like lavender, should be cut back before the winter comes around. They will not tolerate a hard pruning so late in the year. That’s why fall is a great time to prune them. It’s right after their flowering period and before winter. However, when you are pruning them just make sure you don’t cut back into old wood, as this can harm the plant. Keep in mind that mature and young lavender has different pruning needs.

Lavender will benefit from a good fall pruning

prune in fall lavender in garden

#Bearded irises

The beautiful bearded iris is a stunning addition to any garden. However, by the time fall rolls around the beauty has faded, the flowers are floppy, and it can become susceptible to fungal disease and a cover for iris borers. That’s why it is important to cut these plants back during this season. Many people prune their irises straight after flowering, however, this can cause them to flower less the following year. You can cut them a bit after flowering but leave the healthy foliage until the fall, so they can still get plenty of energy. Then, during the fall you can prune them properly.

It is important to cut these plants back during this season

bearded iris flowers

#Bee balm

This plant is a pollinator favorite. How you prune your bee balm is entirely up to you. You can cut it back quite a bit if you don’t want it to go wild and spread seeds all over your garden, or you can only trim it a bit and leave it all winter as birds can enjoy their seeds. However, this plant can succumb to powdery mildew and if that happens you will have no choice but to cut back the plant. Mildew that is left will emerge in the spring again and ruin your plants, so it needs to be taken care of in the fall, sometimes earlier if needed.

How you prune your bee balm is entirely up to you

prune in fall red bee balm


Peonies are a real beauty. They are often grown in cutting gardens as they make stunning additions to flower arrangements. However, this delicate flower’s foliage is very prone to mildew. It also needs a period of cold to set new buds for the upcoming season. Those are the two main reasons you should cut back these flowers during the fall. Mildew can survive through the winter, so you need to be thorough when pruning infected plants. You may even need to prune them earlier on. Healthy foliage will start to brown during the fall which is a clear sign that this plant is ready for its fall pruning.

This delicate flower’s foliage is very prone to mildew

prune in fall pink peony in garden


Lilies, including daylilies, should be pruned during the fall. These plants will make it clear when they are ready for some snipping. When the green starts to disappear and the foliage starts to turn yellow, then this means the leaves are no longer feeding the bulbs. So, no need to keep them. You don’t want to wait until all the foliage has turned brown and has started to limp as this can cause the crown to rot. Pay attention and you will know the right time. Pruning will also stop them from self-seeding, so they won’t take over your garden.

Lilies should be pruned during the fall

orange and red daylily


Once the weather starts to turn bad even the toughest phlox varieties start to become prone to powdery mildew. Cutting back the plants during the fall when the weather hasn’t started to be too bad will help prevent them from getting plagued by this common disease. Both diseased and healthy plants will benefit from some thinning as it will increase airflow, and it will keep the diseases at bay. Make sure you are thorough in removing any diseases.

Cutting back the plants during the fall will help prevent disease

prune in fall pink and white phlox

These are some plants you should prune in fall to ensure they stay healthy and grow strong. We hope you found this article useful. Now you can grab your pruning shears and start cutting back around the garden.

These are some plants you should prune in fall to ensure they grow strong

woman pruning plant

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John Griffith

John Griffith is a young, passionate journalist. Writing has been John’s hobby ever since he was a boy. He has worked in some of the UK’s most successful news portals over the course of his professional career but found his forever home at Archzine.