Perennials – A Confusing Season?

Q: This warm winter has my perennial garden confused. I planted tickseed and sage and expected them to go dormant in cold weather. Now they are still as green as ever. Do I cut them back anyway?

A: My rule of thumb is that if it’s green, the plant needs it. Therefore, I’d leave the plants alone. My daylily foliage is still green and I have begonias blooming on my front porch. I think most plants (except the tulip magnolias, whose flowers inevitably freeze most years) have a good sense of how to behave in odd weather.