What Are Perennials?
A perennial plant is a flower that lives for over two years, providing lasting beauty to gardens. Perennials are flowers that come back every year, unlike annuals that only last a season.
When Is the Best Time to Plant Perennials?
Spring and fall are the best seasons to plant perennial flowers because they allow the plants to create strong roots before harsh weather sets in. Root development is important for supporting the plants' immediate health and laying the groundwork for robust growth and beautiful blooms.
Steps for Planting Perennials
Prepare the soil.
Make sure your soil is well-drained and rich in organic matter. Add compost to improve fertility and draining. Use slightly acidic or neutral soil.
Dig the planting hole.
Dig a hole twice as wide as the flower's root ball and just as deep. Encourage root growth by loosening the soil.
Add a balanced, slow-release fertilizer into the soil.
Plant the flower.
Gently remove the perennial from its container and add it to the hole. Gently loosen any tightly packed roots.
Backfill and water.
Fill the hole with soil, pat it down, and water thoroughly.
Apply a layer of mulch around the perennial. Avoid placing mulch near the stem to prevent rot.
How to Care for Perennials
Perennials are easy to care for, but they still require some maintenance. Here are the best perennial plant tips during different times of the year.
Apply fertilizer around your perennials. Mulch the soil around perennials for added protection.
Spring and summer.
Use stakes and plant supports to prevent tall flowers from bending or flopping over. Regularly check the area around your perennials and remove any weeds.
Trim back dead foliage to keep your flowers tidy and prevent the spread of disease.
Late winter/early spring.
Prune back woody-stemmed perennials before new growth emerges.
Evergreen perennials need year-round attention. Remove any dead or yellowing leaves to keep them looking fresh and healthy.
Remove dead and faded flowers and regularly inspect your plants for signs of bugs or disease.
Every 3-5 years.
Divide and replant overgrown perennials to prevent overcrowding issues.
Perennials are a great budget-friendly option for gardens because several can grow from seed and propagate after forming clumps. To propagate, dig up a grown perennial and carefully divide it into smaller sections, ensuring each has a root. Replant the divided sections and provide adequate water and care.
How to Protect Perennials
Three significant problems can cause damage to your perennial plants: bugs, disease, and weather. Here are tips for protecting your flowers.
Regularly inspect plants for signs of bugs. Consider using an organic insecticide for targeted pest control.
Practice good garden hygiene by maintaining proper spacing between plants. Ensure adequate air circulation around flowers. Avoid watering from above to reduce the risk of fungal infections.
Cover perennials if there's frost in the forecast and use shade cloth during times of excessive heat.