Question: Last year, we planted a yellow bells plant. It appears to have died over winter. Do we need to trim it back to bring it back to life or just be patient and wait?
You should have seen it coming to life by now if it was not damaged heavily by winter cold. They can be cut back hard, and they will come back if they appear dead but have died back from the winter.
They are a bit tender, and in the wrong spot, they will freeze out due to winter cold. If this was the case, you might find a warmer microclimate in the yard, replant and pick a different plant for the old spot.
They can get 10 feet tall and 3 feet wide, so give them enough room. If it freezes back each year but comes back in the spring, it will never get that big. If it does, just keep it cut back during the winter.
Bob Morris is a professor emeritus in horticulture with the University of Nevada and can be reached at email@example.com. Visit his blog at extremehorticulture.blogspot.com.