Question of the Week
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Many people have ask me, "What is a woody perennial?" since now is the time to prune them. Actually, I'm familiar with plants like this being called root hardy. Some examples: lantana, esperanza or yellow bells, and the Red bird of paradise. These are plants that sometimes remain evergreen, but usually die back to the ground in winter. If you leave the tissue above ground—that woody tissue—you may get some growth back from that, but it's going to be a lusher, fuller plant, and it will flower more if you prune off that top foliage and cut the plant to the ground. So that's a woody perennial.
And as I said, I call these plants "root hardy," since even though the top dies back in winter, the roots are still alive underground.
Normally we would say to prune them now, in February, but since we had a colder winter this year, it might be better to wait. I like to wait until I see new growth emerging. Then I know it's time to get rid of the above-ground portion. If you've already pruned them or you're pruning them now, that will also be fine.