|Sweet Woodruff in March 2013 - battered but unbowed|
So far, I'm still loving Sweet Woodruff (a.k.a. Galium odoratum).
I first planted some last spring, it survived our scorching summer last year, so I split off some last fall, and both the division and a new plant that I purchased from a nursery last autumn have done well and seem to be growing and expanding.
(That's opposed to other 'groundcovers' I've purchased that have either (a) died or (b) covered very little ground so far.)
So that's why I sang Sweet Woodruff's praises a couple of months ago. At the time, the plants were welcome shades of green in an otherwise relatively brown and bare landscape.
Well, I'm still enamored with the plants, but they weren't quite as evergreen as I'd hoped, at least not in our average zone 7 winter. Our coldest temps were in the high teens this winter, but most nights were in the 20s or 30s.
Anyways, my question is this -- For anyone who grows or has grown Sweet Woodruff, do you prune off the old tattered foliage or if you don't do anything will the plant shed the old foliage on its own as the year progresses.
|Lots of healthy new Sweet Woodruff foliage emerging from underneath the messy mop of foliage pictured above. Should I trim away the old growth or will it fall away on its own (and how long would that take?) as this new foliage takes center stage?|
I only have the three small Sweet Woodruff patches right now (actually one small patch, two tiny patches), so I certainly wouldn't mind clipping off the old growth this year, but I have two concerns:
1) Perhaps the old growth is there to shelter and protect the new growth as it emerges? After all, no one's pruning Sweet Woodruff in the wild.
2) Alternatively, if the old foliage will persist throughout the year and it's better to give it a haircut to let the new foliage have its place in the (partial) sun, that's good to know before I let Sweet Woodruff run rampant and find myself faced with the task down the road of pruning an acre of last year's Sweet Woodruff foliage on my hands and knees.
Ergo, I welcome your opinions, suggestions and personal experiences on this edition of To Prune or Not To Prune! Thanks :)