Imagine being able to pick fresh lemons, limes and oranges right from your patio! Read more »
Cutting overgrown grasses by more than an inch or two at a time can create unhealthy brown and bald spots in your lawn – or ev... Read more »
Kids are eager gardeners. They love to experiment with colorful flowers, have an adventurous sense of design, and getting dirt... Read more »
Our Shear Ease® Grass Shears include a patented mechanism that prevents the blades from jamming or sticking when you’re trimmin... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Hedge Shears, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear techno... Read more »
Our Easy-Pour Watering Can offers both capacity and control. The 2.6-gallon volume holds a generous amount of water that is eas... Read more »
Put your crafting skills to work and create a beautiful and unique fascinator that reflects your personal style. Read more »
“Painting” with tissue paper is not only fun but beautiful! Read more »
Mosaic tile frames are a beautiful way to display photos. Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with a Squeeze Punch that makes every embellishment up to 2X easier to pun... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Detail Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that p... Read more »
A colorful, roomy bag is just the thing you need to carry all your belongings for a day at the beach. Read more »
Keep the kids busy on a road trip with their own art bag full of inspiration and the essentials. Read more »
This easy pillowcase dress looks adorable with pretty fabrics. Plus, it is super simple to put together, even if you have not... Read more »
Only our Stitcher Scissors provide precision and control that meet the needs of the most demanding sewers and quilters. Micro-T... Read more »
Our Seamstress Scissors are the perfect all-purpose scissors for anyone who cuts fabric frequently. The smooth action of these... Read more »
Choose our Dressmaker Shears for long, smooth cuts through multiple layers of medium to heavy fabrics. Extra-long blades maximi... Read more »
Looking for a sure cure for bored kids - make sparkly sea creatures! Read more »
Open-ended activities like this Busy Book can keep kids occupied in the back seat of a car AND spark fun family conversations! Read more »
It doesn’t take much to turn an everyday snack into something a little extra special. It is great to see how quickly you can a... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
The beautiful mood lighting of lanterns at outdoor gatherings is fabulous, so why not craft up a set to use this summer. Read more »
Treat your children to their own special tent hideaway, then stand back and watch as the fun and adventures begin! Read more »
Make a thoughtful gift for someone this summer! Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Great for beginners, the unique design of this tool makes cutting perfect shapes from fabric a breeze — since you’re not managi... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
In areas with mild climates (like mine here in California), even though most of our garden still looks pretty good, you may notice some of the more tender annuals are long gone (see you next year coleus!), or a few perennials are already fast asleep (anyone seen your phlox lately?)
However, during the next few weeks, all of a sudden your garden will start to look very different. Adjectives like straggly, overgrown, and leggy come to mind. Even though there may still be a few leaves or flowers on your plants they’re trying to tell you they’re tired and ready for a long winter’s nap.
You may not be sure when, if or how to cut your plants back but by examining them closely you can learn to read their subtle clues. I’m not talking about those plants that have no life whatsoever left in their leaves (an obvious clue that it needs cutting back), but plants that still look fairly decent and will continue to do so throughout the winter. Those are the tricky ones to know when and how to prune.
In USDA’s milder zones (9 and up) some of the plants that most commonly confuse gardeners this time of year are penstemon, euphorbias, cuphea, leonotis, phlomis, heucheras, iberis and salvias. Even though they’re still green, they look overgrown, their stems now thick, woody and no longer supple, and their flowers are few and far between.
But an easy way to read your plant is to get down on all fours and closely examine the center of it. Scraping the old leaves and debris aside you’ll most likely notice tiny little leaves along the woody stems. That’s your plant’s way of telling you it’s too leggy and needs to be cut back. It’s also telling you not to worry that you’ll kill it, since it’ll bounce right back with the little leaves that are just waiting for the chance to grow. If you don’t cut it back, the plant will continue to expend lots of energy keeping those old leaves and flowers alive, when it could be re-directing it’s energy towards the new leaves.
So cut it back hard, a few inches from the crown, near a set of new leaves. Wait a few weeks and you’ll be surprised how quickly your bundle of ‘sticks’ fills in with new growth. Soon you’ll have a lush and tidy plant again. In warmer winters, your plant will remain this size until spring’s warm weather awakens it and it springs into action! One warning, though - if you live in a climate with cold winters don’t prune these plants in the fall as you don’t want the tender, new leaves to get zapped by a hard frost. You’ll need to wait until early spring to prune your plants.