Everything You Need to Know About Perennial Care
Perennial plants are the foundation of your flower garden. These are the plants that tend to come back year after year unlike annual plants that you must replant every spring. At the end of the growing season, perennial plants die to the ground. Then, when the next year arrives, they regrow. Most homeowners plant perennials because they are a good value. They are also dependable and provide a variety of texture, color and form. This is everything you need to know about perennial care.
When you purchase a container-grown plant, dig a hole that’s slightly wider but not deeper than the pot. Grasp the base of the plant and loosen the roots. If your perennial is rootbound, which is when the roots have begun growing in a circle around the pot’s edges, then spread them out. Place the plant in the hole and firm the soil around its roots. Be sure to give it plenty of water.
If you’re planting a bare-root perennial, then just plant the roots. These will typically be packed in a peat moss or something like it. Before planting a bare-root perennial in the ground, soak the roots in water. After planting your perennials, give them more water. Then, cover them with a 2-inch to 3-inch deep mulch layer. This will help the soil hang onto the moisture. It will also stop weeds from growing.
Deadhead Your Perennials
Deadheading is the process of cutting off the flowers that are fading from the main plant. This will make the plants look better. It also stops them from setting seeds, helping you avoid the problem of coneflowers, columbine or phlox from showing up in other parts of your landscaping. The flower will respond to being deadheaded by producing more blooms, so completing this task is a win-win. Some perennials perform better when you pinch them back. It causes them to become fuller plants, ones that produce more blooms. Pinching them back also stops them from flopping over. To do this, just use your thumb and forefinger to pinch back tips that are growing.
Different kinds of perennials need different amounts of water, so you’ll need to research their water requirements as you plant. Some are drought resistant while others need constant moisture to thrive. To keep them healthier, group your perennials according to their water needs. This will make watering them easier too.
To thrive, perennials need rich soil. If you don’t already have this, you’ll need to make it happen with fertilizer. Most of the time, general-purpose garden fertilizer will do the trick. Just follow the direction on the fertilizer package. When you need to add nourishment, you might be tempted to use more than what the package recommends, but in this case, it is possible to overdo it. If you over fertilize your soil, then your plants may not produce flowers. They may suffer from root injury. Too much fertilizer could even kill your perennials.
One of the best reasons to plant perennials is because they’ll grow bigger and develop more every year. As your perennial plants get big, they’ll become crowded. To keep them looking their best, dig them out of the ground and divide them into smaller bits every three or four years. The best time to do this is during the spring or the fall. If you have perennials like bearded iris or hosta, then split them in the summer.
If you planted perennials that are zoned for your region, then they shouldn’t require special care when the cold months arrive. However, to make sure that they are protected, consider covering them with a layer of mulch after the soil freezes. This extra step can prevent winter damage. Gardeners often leave the dead stems of the perennials during the winter because flowers like black-eye Susan and purple coneflowers are plants that birds like to eat. If it snows in your area, then perennials will hold onto the snow, which is a great mulch.
The Benefits of Planting Perennials
Perennials are hardy plants. Along with being diverse, they are the backbone of your landscaping. With proper care, the perennials in your yard will dress up your yard for years.