|My surprise--a browsed lychnis plant|
One of the younger lychnis plants had been deer browsed. That was significant here at Meadow Glenn because I’ve never seen a browsed lychnis plant in the four years they’ve been growing in that bed. Photo 1 clearly shows the browsed leaves—some with tough fibers still attesting to a tough, fuzzy meal attempted by a deer.
Just a foot way another lychnis plant lay unbrowsed under a protective umbrella of dead stalks (Photo 2).
|Unbrowsed lychnis protected by dead stalks|
I looked around. Not far way was a Shasta daisy with tall but dead stalks. Still-green leaves of the plant hugged the ground. A couple of the outer, unprotected leaves had been browsed—but the leaves protected by the stalks were untouched.
Put the pruners away until late winter, Bob. Let the dead stalks help protect the plants over winter. Sounds like a good plan to me.
And there are other reasons not to cut back dead perennial seed stalks. Seed-eating birds—chipping sparrows and song sparrows, for example—check them out for winter food, and the stalks add character to gardenscapes when frosted or coated with ice or snow.
|Seed stalks add winter character|