Lightly prune boxwoods during late February. If you haven’t pruned your butterfly bush, do so during this month. Prune summer bushes like butterfly bush, abelia, hibiscus, hydrangea, beautyberry, althea, rose of Sharon, and bush roses to encourage new growth. They bloom only on new growth and hard pruning in the winter will encourage new growth in the spring.
Cut back dormant ornamental grasses or grass-like ornamentals such as liriope and mondo grass to remove last year’s unsightly foliage. If clumps have become too big for the area, divide them and share with friends or plant in other areas of the yard.
Remove any old camellia blooms and pick up and dead blooms off the ground to prevent spreading petal blight. Finish cleaning up any seedheads left for the birds in the perennial garden. Cut back old foliage on most perennials with the exception of lantana, verbena, salvia and anything with a hollow stem that extends in to the ground. Wait until March to cut those back.
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