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Enjoy Your Perennials

While you might love perennials because of their beautiful blooms or fantastic foliage, you are buying the roots – because the roots are going to allow the plants to grow back every year. Below are some tips that are going to help you get started.

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The most common and easy to plant are container-grown perennials. Take a look at the range at Thetreecentre.com. Dig the hole and it needs to be wider but not deeper than the pot the plant came in. If the plant has become rootbound (this is when roots are growing in circles around the pot’s edge), loosen the roots and then spread them out. Once you are done, firm the soil then water it well.

Bare-Root Daylily

They are usually less expensive compared to the ones grown in the container even when comparing the same plant. They are available in early spring and they are sold as just the roots as the name suggests. They come packed in peat moss or something similar. Before planting the roots in the ground, make sure you soak them in water.

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Planting Tips

Staking peony

Make sure you water them after planting. Lay 2-3 inches of mulch over the soil surrounding them. The mulch is good because it will help in holding the moisture and preventing weeds from growing around the plant.

Give support to taller perennials like hollyhocks, delphiniums, and peonies through staking. Insert a sturdy stick or rod into the ground and tie the stem to it. If you have clump-forming plants that have multiple stems, then grow them through a hoop.

You need to deadhead and divide your perennials regularly so they remain beautiful and healthy.

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Deadheading

This means the process of cutting the faded flowers off. This is good for the plant because it makes it look better and also prevents the plants from setting seeds. This will help you avoid having to deal with the mess that comes with phlox, coneflowers, heliopsis, or columbine seedlings that pop up.

When you do this, most plants are going to respond by producing even more flowers. Some good rebloomers are coreoposis, threadleaf, phlox, delphinium, yarrow, and veronica. 

Dividing

The good thing about having perennials in your garden is the fact that they grow bigger and better every year. Some might start crowing when they get big. You should dig them out of the ground and split them into smaller chunks to keep them performing well. Do it every 3-4 years.

The best time to divide perennials is in early spring and fall. Some exceptions are hosta and bearded iris; split them in summer.

Watering

There isn’t one single rule to use when watering perennials. Some varieties need to be kept moist all the time while some stand up to drought. 

Make sure your plants remain healthy by watering them the right way. Group them by their water needs. Some perennials that need a lot of moisture include cardinal flower, Lysimachia, astilbe, perennial hibiscus, turtlehead, marigold, and pitcher plant. In dry soil, those that do well are lavender, lamb’s ears, penstemon, thyme, salvias, yarrow, and purple coneflower.

Soaker Hose

Powdery mildew is a common disease that affects some perennials. It creates white or gray fuzzy growth on the leaves. If you want to keep such and other fungal diseases away, water the plants in the morning or early afternoon. You should consider using a soaker hose over a sprinkler. You will often see powdery mildew on bee balm, asters, columbine, black-eyed Susan, phlox, coreopsis, and salvias.

Keep in mind; that no matter the perennial you grow make sure they are always well-watered the first year. This is important because it ensures the plant is well-established.

Fertilizing

If the soil is rich or you have amended it using compost or any other type of organic matter, you won’t have to worry about feeding the plants. If the soil you have is poor, then you need to fertilize it.

You need to get general-purpose garden fertilizer because that is all you need. Make sure you have followed the directions that are on the packaging.

There are times when you might consider adding more fertilizer than recommended, but too much of a good thing can be bad. Overfertilizing the plant can make it flowerless, damage the roots, or even kill the plant.

Photo by Brian Yurasits on Unsplash

Winter Garden

You don’t need any special winter care for perennials that are reliably cold-hardy in your region. Spreading mulch when the soil freezes can help with winter damage during the cold season.

It is common to see gardeners leaving dead stems of the plants standing all winter because they provide food for birds (including black-eyed Susan and purple coneflower). Perennials can help in catching snow in the snowy areas, which is why it is one of the best winter mulches.

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