Be sure to check their height, size, growth patterns, colors, peak blooming time and ideal soil conditions
- Make sure the plant is compatible with your region’s climate.
- Most perennials are sold when they are in bloom, allowing you to see the colors you want.
- Consider the amount of light your garden gets as some perennials will not bloom in shady conditions.
- Choose plants that are compact and dark green before flowering.
- Avoid plants with thin, pale, yellow stems and leaves or visible signs of mold and mildew.
|Characteristics of Popular Perennials|
Bloom once per season
- Eupatorium (snakeroot)
- Aconitum (monkshood)
- Delphinium (larkspur)
- Asclepias (butterfly flower)
- Gaura (wand flower)
- Russian sage
- Japanese painted fern
- Tiarella, "Jeepers Creepers"
- Rudbeckia (black-eyed Susan)
- Salvia (meadow sage)
- Shasta daisy
Properly preparing the soil is one of the best things you can do to ensure the health of your plants
- Check for proper soil drainage and test pH levels to ensure the growing environment is conducive to the plants.
- Most perennials need to be planted in spring, though some bulbs can be set out in late summer or early fall.
- Avid gardeners may want to consider starting perennials from seed, which is cost effective but requires more effort.
- Add fertilizer and rake soil smooth in spring to prepare for new plants.
- If soil has poor drainage, consider planting in raised beds.
- Gently untangle roots and place in hole slightly larger than the root ball.
- Allow plenty of space between plants to encourage better growth.
Maintenance and Care
Put frequent and thorough watering at the top of your maintenance list
- Moisten the entire plant bed, but not so heavily that the soil becomes soggy.
- Wet only the soil around the plant, not the leaves and bloom to avoid making the plant susceptible to disease.
- Apply mulch after several frosts have occurred to ensure soil temperatures remain low.
- Don’t apply mulch too early as the warmth can cause new growth, which may freeze and damage the plant.
- Stake tall perennials to prevent stem damage using stakes that measure 6 – 12 inches shorter than the plant.
- Tie the plant by making a double loop, with one loop around the plant and the other around the stake.
- Plant perennials where light wind conditions and soils are suited to them (consult plant tags).