If you live in Oklahoma or anywhere surrounding, it’s time to deadhead the roses one last time. I like to think of it as their final haircut before season’s end. I trimmed the lovely ‘Sophy’s Rose’ yesterday, and, like a minor miracle, she has already unfurled new rusty-red foliage.
It’s approximately two months before the first freeze, so if you do this little chore now, you’ll have another month of bright blooms. Even if the roses have begun making hips, you can still cut these off, and it won’t hurt the plant. The same holds true for other shrubs too like spirea (especially if you got overzealous with the torch while eliminating Bermuda grass from the gravel paths).
Don’t wait much longer, or you will damage these doyennes of the mixed herbaceous border, because, come frost, they will retain the tender foliage of youth. Instead, after another blooming month, let them harden off and pull their creative juices down into older canes and roots preparing for a long winter’s rest.
We, Southerners (Oklahoma is often considered mid-south). are blessed with such a long bloom season, and with all of the rain that lately fell, you still have plenty of time to enjoy the blooms brought about by your handiwork.
For those of my friends further south, perhaps, you can also revamp your roses, perennials and other shrubs now. I don’t know how badly you’ve been affected by the long and terrible drought, but you’ve been on my heart as you faced your endless summer. I’ve also thought about my northern friends whose summer, with its cooler than usual temperatures, just seems to have started earlier this month.
Still, grab your Felcos, your Coronas (no, you won’t need limes until later), your Bahcos (I also hear the Hidas are nice), whichever you prefer, and get to trimming those perennials and shrubs. When the kinder September and October sun shows his face, you will bask in his rays while adoring the flowers you helped bring forth.