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How to Grow Perennial Plants for Years of Enjoyment

Perennial Flowers
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Perennials are plants that live for more than two years. Unlike annual plants, perennials don’t need to be replanted every spring or fall.

Learn how to grow perennial plants as these types of plants regrow year after tear. They are easier to maintain, in addition to adding color and life to your garden – perennials won’t die back at the end of the season.

If you want a garden that blossoms year after year, perennial plants are a must! With the great variety of plants and flowers that are available, you can design your garden the way you want and enjoy a colorful show of flowers all season long.

The other wonderful aspect of perennials is that you can transplant any new plants that have self-seeded to increase your flower garden.

How to Grow Perennial Plants and Flowers

how to grow perennial plants
Purple Iris

Some perennials can be divided and transplanted to new locations. Irises are a perfect example of a bulb variety that can be dug up and divided and transplanted to a new bed. As some perennials grow, they increase their roots systems, bulbs, and tubers and actually need to be divided and transplanted so as not to become root-bound.

Perennial flowers are considered herbaceous, which means that the top of the plant and the petals of the flower falls in autumn or winter but the root stays. The plants grow and bloom again the following spring and summer.

The best part is that growing and maintaining perennial plants and flowers is comparatively easier than other annuals or biennials.

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Factors to Consider in How to Grow Perennial Plants

  • Location

The criterion to choose a location for perennials is the same as for any other annual plant. The location should be one where there is good sunlight, controlled drainage, and the right type of soil. Learn how to pick your best garden location.

 There are wonderful perennial plants for shade like hostas and Bleeding Hearts.

And, then those that prefer full sun such as Shasta Daisies and Oriental Poppies.

  • Soil

Preparing your soil for your perennials is another major factor to consider. Since perennials have to stay there for more than two years at least, it is essential that you prepare your soil for long-term growth

Before planting perennial seeds or plants, check the fertility of the soil, the pH level, and the drainage. All these things should be adjusted and fixed before anything is planted.

Once this is done, you should water the seed.

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  • Planting Time

Generally speaking, perennials that flower in fall or late summer are planted in spring, while those that flower in spring are planted in late summer or early fall. 

No matter when you plant perennials, always make sure to give them enough time to establish their roots before the cold weather starts.

Shasta Daisies
Shasta Daisies

Maintaining Perennials

  • Watering

Since the roots of perennials need to stay strong in order to maintain them year after year, proper watering is essential as it promotes root development. Regardless of the weather, perennial plants need to be watered around the roots to keep them healthy. Don’t use water sprinklers just on the top of the plant but also don’t water so heavily that it makes the soil soggy.

Drip Systems are extremely helpful to maintain proper soil moisture. Try something like this type of drip line system.

After watering them once, let the soil dry a bit out before watering them again. Also, make sure the water is equally distributed around the soil bed.

  • Mulching

Since our goal is to ensure our perennials live for years to come, mulching can prove to be very beneficial.  Mulching is a technique used to cover the soil with a layer of material to protect the plants. Mulch helps maintain uniform moisture and controls soil temperatures as well as suppressing weeds.

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For perennial plants and flowers,  shredded leaves, and bark chips are commonly used mulches. However, when planting perennial flower seeds, remember to apply the mulches after the perennial plants have started to grow and have been established completely so you do not cover the plants.

Don’t forget to care for your mulches as well by replenishing it each year.

  • Fertilizers

Every plant needs regular fertilization. While it is advisable to check the fertilization needs of each perennial you have planted, the general care requires a light fertilizer; ideally 5-10-5 or try something like Flower Girl Organic Bud and Bloom Booster.

The best time to fertilize perennials is March or April as perennials will be coming out of dormancy. Areas with longer growing seasons will need to apply fertilizer in February.

Prior to applying your fertilizer, pull back the mulch to expose your garden soil. Spread the fertilizer around the plant and dig into the soil without disturbing the roots.  Push your mulch back into place. Water your plants to settle the fertilizer into the soil.

You may apply a little fertilizer every 6 to 8 weeks throughout your growing season.

  • Guarding Against Insects

Every perennial plant is susceptible to insects and diseases. In order to avoid these problems, it is advisable to first select the plants that are insect and disease resistant.

Review the diseases or insects beforehand that each plant species is prone to, and learn how to avoid and/or treat them.

There are many safe organic products available to insect and disease control. Try something like this type of natural safe insect control. 

  • Staking

Your perennial plants will continue growing each year. Some perennials grow taller and heavier. If they fall over, it can weaken their stems and even cause breakage.

Keep an eye on your perennials and know when to stake them. The stakes can be placed behind the perennials so that they are supported while they grow. 

I love the stability of 6-foot bamboo stakes. They are super lightweight and long-lasting!!

how to grow perennial plants like Purple Lupine
Perennial Purple Lupine

If you follow these general care tips in how to perennial plants, your perennial flower garden is sure to bloom and grow more colorful every passing season!

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Learn the Joy of Growing Perennial Flowers today!

Perennial flowers
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Gardening is the slowest of the performing arts.

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