Proper care of perennials in the garden

Image result for Proper care of perennials in the garden

Perennials have much to recommend them, including of course their famed ability to regenerate year after year.  After all, while the longevity of perennialsvaries from variety to variety, some, especially peonies, have been known to last for decades. 

Even though not all perennials are so long lived, in order to be called a perennial a plant must have the ability to come back for at least two consecutive years.  This longevity makes perennials a great choice for gardeners.

Even though perennials are generally very hardy, it is still important to get them off to the right start, and to provide them with the care they need to grow and thrive.

Choosing the most healthy perennials is the first step.  Most perennials are purchased in either four inch containers or one gallon containers, depending on the size and quantity purchased.  In addition, some mail order and internet sources of perennials ship their plants as bare root plants. Wherever you buy them, however, it is important to care for them properly, both before, during and after they are planted.  Doing so is the best way to ensure a garden full of beautiful plants year after year.

Most types of perennials like soil that is rich in organic matter.  Therefore, it is important to have your soil analyzed, and amended if necessary, before using it for your perennial bed.  Soils that do not contain sufficient nutrients should be enriched with compost, aged manure or other organic materials.

Even though it is best to provide most perennials with a rich organic soil, a surprising number of perennials are able to live well in poorer quality soils.  Even though they can grow in poor soil, however, they will provide better blooms if the soil is enriched.

Sunlight is also important to perennials, with many varieties doing very well in full sunlight, while other varieties do better in partial shade or filtered sunlight, especially in a hot climate.  It is important to consider the need for sunlight when planning your perennial garden.

The needs for water also differ among varieties of perennials.  While some perennials prefer large amounts of water, other varieties can get along with little water.  In addition, most varieties of perennials do best with an annual feeding.  This annual feeding can consist of either working the organic materials in the regular soil in the spring or fall or by using a good quality fertilizer.  When using fertilizer, it is best to fertilize in the springtime. 

When buying perennials, it is important to take into account how large the plant will grow at maturity, and therefore to provide enough space for the adult plants to grow.  Some perennials can grow to heights in excess of seven or eight feet so it is important to determine how large that tiny seedling will grow when you plant it.  Planting the seedlings with the adult dimensions of the plant in mind will save you lots of headaches in the future.

Since perennials come back year after year, it is important to trim and prune them properly during and after each growing season.  The process of deadheading, or removing spent flowers, is important to keeping a perennial garden blooming season after season.  Removing spent blossoms will encourage more growth and keep the plants at their healthiest.

Trimming and pruning can also make the perennial garden more attractive.  It is a good idea to cut back the stems and foliage by a third at the end of each growing season.  This trimming will provide for a round of new growth when the new season takes hold.

How to divide perennials

Image result for Proper care of perennials in the garden

One of the things that makes perennials so attractive to home gardeners is the ability to divide and transplant the perennials.  Gardeners can use cuttings made from their perennials in order to create new growth, share their plants with family members and friends, or even to sell excess stock to nurseries, garden centers and flower stores. 

There are basically two reasons why gardeners choose to divide their perennials.  The first reason is for the improvement of the health of the plants, and to encourage those plants to produce more flowers.  In many cases, an older planting of perennials will become overgrown, and this can cause the bloom quantity of those perennials to drop considerably.  The other reason gardeners divide perennials, of course, is to create new plantings.  Perennials can be divided easily, and these new divisions can be used to create plantings in other parts of the garden, or even in another garden patch.

Even though many perennials can be divided easily, not all can.  In generally, division is most feasible on those perennials that grow in clumps, and those that have an expanding root mass.  Perennials that grow from single taproot, on the other hand usually cannot be divided.  That is because any attempt to divide the taproot can cause the plant to die.  Those perennials that grow from a taproot should be increased by using root cuttings or seeds instead of division.

The best time to divide those spring and early summer perennials that can be divided is generally in the fall of the year.  Perennials that bloom in the fall or late summer should be divided in the spring instead.

To divide perennials, the ground around the plant should first be gently lessened with a spading fork.  The clump should then be sliced with a garden trowel and then divided into four parts.  Those four sections should then be broken by hand to create sections four inches by four inches.  Those small sections should then immediately be transferred to a previously prepared plant bed.
It is important for the gardener to thoroughly wet the soil a day or two before the division is to take place.  Watering thoroughly will make it easier to dig the clump.  In addition, it is important to add compost or other organic material to the soil.  The organic material should be added to both the original plant and the new divisions.  Doing so will give the plant the nutrition it needs and help them to thrive better in their new location.  The plants should also be watered thoroughly and fed with a good quality fertilizer once they have been planted.

Popular perennials for the garden

Image result for Proper care of perennials in the garden

Perennials are one of the most popular types of flowering plants, both for the beginning and experienced gardeners.  Gardeners of all types and abilities enjoy the beauty, hardiness and ease of planting of these find plants.

In addition, perennials come in every color of the rainbow, and in all shapes and sizes, making them a great choice for any garden.  What makes perennials special, however, is their ability to come back year after year.  While the actual life span of a perennial will vary from species to species and planting to planting, some types of perennials have been known to last for decades.

Perennials can be used anywhere in the garden, and anywhere around the home as well.  Many varieties of perennials are great as landscape plantings, and their ability to regenerate makes them perfect for areas of the garden that are hard to reach.  Using perennials to line a driveway, surround a flagpole or accent a front porch is a great idea for any gardener.

In fact, the hardest part of perennials for many gardeners is choosing the right ones.  There are so many different perennials at your local garden center that it can be difficult to choose the right ones.  This article attempts to help with that problem, by providing a brief overview of some of the most popular perennials for the home garden, as well as some brief care tips.

Name: Achillea
Common name: Yarrow
Needs: Full sun, moderate water (less watering once fully established)

Name: Anemone
Common name: Japanese Anemone
Needs: Partial shade, regular watering

Name: Aster
Common name: New England Aster
Needs: Full sun, partial shade in hot climates, regular watering

Name: Astilbe
Needs: Partial to full shade (some sun OK in cool climates, regular watering

Name: Chrysanthemum
Common name: Shasta Daisy
Needs: Full sun, partial shade in hot climates, regular watering

Name: Coreopsis
Common name: Threadleaf Coreopsis
Needs: Full sun, moderate to little watering

Name: Delphinium
Needs: Full sun, regular watering

Name: Echinacea
Common name: Purple Coneflower
Needs: Full sun, moderate watering

Name: Geranium
Common name: Geranium
Needs: Full sun or partial shade.  Must have afternoon shade in hot climates.  Regular watering

Name: Helleborus
Common name: Lenten Rose
Needs: Full sun in winter; partial to full shade in spring, summer and fall.  Regular watering

Name: Nepeta
Common name: Catmint
Needs: Full sun, moderate watering

Name: Paeonia
Common name: Peony
Needs: Full sun, partial shade in hot climates, regular watering

Name: Papaver
Common name: Oriental Poppy
Needs: Full sun, regular to moderate watering

Name: Penstemon
Common name: Beard Tongue
Needs: Full sun; light shade in hot climates.  Regular watering.

Name: Phlox
Common name: Summer Phlox
Needs: Full sun.  Flowers may fade in hot climates.  Needs regular watering.

Name: Redbeckia
Common name: Black-Eyed Susan
Needs: Full sun.  Regular to moderate watering.

Name: Salvia
Needs: Full sun.  Regular watering.

Name: Sedum
Common name: Autumn Joy
Needs: Full sun or partial shade.  Moderate to little watering.

Name: Veronica
Needs: Full sun.  Regular watering.

No comments