Perennials pretty much take care of theirselves once they are established in their new garden beds. They add color and unique textures throughout the season plus they also add value to your property. I wouldn’t consider my yard complete without them and with proper planning you can have color all season long.
Here are a few tips for growing successful perennials.
- Cut back old stems and flowers in late fall for spring-flowering perennials, or early spring for perennials that bloom summer through fall. Cutting back the old stems and flowers gives the gardens a clean look and insects will not have a place top hide and breed. It also gives the plants more light and air.
- Apply an organic fertilizer to the soil in early spring – except for perennials that do not need yearly fertilizing. I have switched to compost. It seems to give me better control over my plants and the flowers and foliage are beautiful. Use about 3 inches of compost near the plants. Make sure not to get the compost on the plants.
- Cut old flower stems off spring-blooming plants to a place on the stem just above where you see new leaves growing. This will encourage the plant to bloom again. I have noticed this really works well with mums. I have more flowers in the fall and the plants are full and beautiful. (I also take the cuttings and start new plants from them)
- When you first plant perennials they need to be watered every week to encourage new roots. After that Water well until soil is completely moist. Most perennials do well in dry weather and will need less water than annuals, particularly if the ground is mulched.
- There are long-lived perennials and short-lived perennials. Your local greenhouse or nursery can help you select the plants and advise you of their care
Many of the perennials on our property have been family favorites for generations. They bring back many memories of grandparents and parties throughout the years.