Is it too late to plant roses? Should I not cut back my Brown Eyed Susans to leave the seeds for the birds?


Is it too late to plant roses? 

Should I not cut back my Brown Eyed Susans to leave the seeds for the birds?


Jonathan Foster, Community Education Assistant

We recommend planting roses early in the year rather than late in order to give them ideal conditions to root in–there are some varieties that can take a fall planting if they are well protected, but at this point I would hate for you to put an expensive planting in and lose it because it didn’t have time to get established. Please refer to this previous answer from our Ask the Experts page on how to get a rose garden started (NB: I believe the link to Dr. Perry’s article is broken, but you can also find it here).

As far as the brown-eyed susans go, I would say it’s really up to you. Birds will feed on the seeds as long as the plants aren’t buried by snow cover and many gardeners feel the seedheads add a bit of winter interest to the garden. Others find them unattractive. Just be aware that leaving them most likely means a good bit of self-seeding in the spring. If you like the idea of new patches springing up near where your plants were this year, this can be a boon (I have some I planted ten years ago that come back in roughly the same place each year, though 8-12″ perhaps from where each was last year!). If you are concerned about the area growing unruly or not having plantings just where you like them, you’ll have some extra weeding to do when the uneaten seeds germinate.