10 Useful Tips on Growing Perennials in Your Garden

10 Useful Tips on Growing Perennials in Your Garden

Perennials are a beautiful and low-maintenance addition to any garden. Unlike annuals, which need to be replanted every year, perennials come back year after year, adding beauty and interest to your landscape. If you're interested in growing perennials in your garden, there are a few things you need to know to ensure their success.

In this article, we'll cover ten useful tips for growing perennials, including choosing the right plants, site selection, soil testing and amendments, planting and maintenance, winter care, and some common mistakes to avoid.

So, without further ado, let's get started.

Choosing The Right Perennials:

If you want to choose perennials that will thrive in your garden, there are several factors to consider. The first is your climate. Make sure to choose plants that are suited to your growing zone, as some perennials may not survive in extreme temperatures. You should also consider the soil type and sun exposure in your garden. Some perennials prefer well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter, while others thrive in thick clay soil. Additionally, some perennials require full sun, while others prefer partial shade.

Another thing to consider is the foliage of your perennials. Some perennials, such as hostas or ornamental grasses, have attractive foliage that provides interest even when the plant is not in bloom. Foliage color and texture can also add depth and contrast to your garden design.

Additionally, consider the purpose of your garden. If you're planting a pollinator garden, choose perennials that attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds, such as coneflowers or bee balm. If you're creating a cutting garden, choose perennials that make good-cut flowers, such as daisies or asters.

To put it simply, consider the maintenance requirements of your perennials. Some plants, such as daylilies, require little maintenance beyond deadheading, while others, such as roses, may require more attention and pruning to stay healthy and vigorous. By considering these additional factors when choosing perennials for your garden, you can ensure a beautiful and functional landscape that meets your needs and preferences.

Choosing the Right Site:

Once you've chosen the right plants for your garden, it's important to select the ideal site for them to grow. Perennials require specific growing conditions to thrive, including well-draining soil, adequate sunlight, and consistent moisture.

Before planting, assess your garden's soil, sun exposure, and water availability. If your soil is heavy and clay-like, you may need to amend it with compost or sand to improve drainage. Be sure to choose a site that gets at least six hours of sunlight a day and consider using a soaker hose or drip irrigation system to provide consistent moisture.

Soil Testing and Amendments:

Before planting perennials, it's a good idea to test your soil to determine its pH level and nutrient content. For this, you need to buy a soil test kit from your local garden center or send a soil sample to a lab for analysis. Once you know your soil's pH level and nutrient deficiencies, you can amend it with organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, to improve its fertility and structure.


Applying a layer of organic mulch around your perennials can provide several benefits, including retaining soil moisture, suppressing weeds, and regulating soil temperature. Organic mulches, such as straw, leaves, or wood chips, also break down over time, adding nutrients to the soil. Be sure to keep the mulch at least an inch away from the stems of your perennials to prevent moisture buildup and stem rot.

Planting Perennials The Right Way:

Choosing the right time to plant perennials is key. The best time to plant perennials is in the spring or fall when the weather is cooler. This gives the plants time to establish their root systems before the heat of summer or the cold of winter sets in.

There are a few additional tips to remember to ensure your plants get off to a healthy start. First, make sure to prepare the planting hole properly. Dig a hole twice as wide as the root ball and deep enough so that the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. This will ensure the roots have enough room to spread out and establish themselves in the soil.

Before planting, also make sure to gently loosen the roots of your perennials to encourage them to grow outward. You can do this by gently massaging the root ball with your hands or using a small tool, such as a garden fork, to gently tease the roots apart.

Another important step when planting perennials is to backfill the hole with soil and water the plant thoroughly. Make sure to water deeply so that the water reaches the roots of the plant. If the soil settles after watering, add more soil to the planting hole and water again.

After planting, it's also a good idea to add a layer of mulch around your perennials. Mulch helps retain soil moisture and suppresses weeds. Be sure to keep the mulch at least an inch away from the stems of your perennials to prevent moisture buildup and stem rot.

In short, with proper planting techniques and attention to detail, you can ensure your perennials get off to a healthy start and thrive in your garden for years to come.

Maintenance and Care:

To make sure your perennials look their best, it's important to provide them with regular maintenance and care. This includes watering and fertilizing throughout the growing season. Most perennials require at least one inch of water per week, either from rainfall or supplemental watering. Fertilize your perennials in the spring with a slow-release fertilizer to encourage strong growth and blooming. Prune your perennials as needed to control their size and shape, and deadhead spent blooms to promote reblooming.

Dividing and Propagating Perennials:

Over time, perennials can become crowded and lose their vigor. So, to keep them healthy and to look their best, it's important to divide them every few years. This involves digging up the plant, separating it into smaller sections, and replanting those sections in new locations. Dividing perennials not only keeps them healthy but also allows you to propagate new plants for your garden.

Winter Care for Perennials:

In colder climates, perennials require special care to survive the winter months. Before the first frost, cut back the foliage of your perennials to a few inches above the ground. This will prevent them from getting damaged by freezing temperatures. You can also protect your perennials by mulching them with a layer of organic material, such as straw or leaves. In milder climates, perennials may not require as much winter care, but it's still crucial to monitor them for any signs of stress or damage.

Choosing The Right Perennial Companions:

You can also pair perennials with other plants to create a visually stunning and functional garden. Choosing the right perennial companions can help maximize the beauty and functionality of your garden space. When selecting companion plants for your perennials, it's important to consider factors such as color, height, texture, and bloom time.

One useful strategy is to choose companion plants with contrasting colors and textures to create visual interest in your garden. For example, you could pair a tall, spiky flower like delphinium with a low-growing, spreading ground cover like creeping thyme. The contrast between the tall, upright spikes and the trailing thyme creates a dynamic visual effect that adds depth and interest to your garden.

Another useful strategy is to pair perennials with companion plants that bloom at different times of the year. This ensures continuous color and interest throughout the growing season. For instance, you could pair early-blooming crocuses with mid-season daffodils and late-season tulips for a dazzling display of spring color.

When selecting companion plants for your perennials, it's also important to consider the growing requirements of each plant. Make sure to choose plants with similar soil, sun, and water requirements to ensure they thrive together in your garden.

By choosing the right companion plants for your perennials, you can create a garden that is not only beautiful but also functional and well-balanced. With a bit of planning and attention to detail, you can create a stunning and low-maintenance garden that you'll enjoy for years to come.

Common Perennial Mistakes to Avoid:

While perennials are relatively low-maintenance, there are a few common mistakes that can harm or even kill your plants. One of the most common mistakes is overwatering. Perennials need consistent moisture, but they can quickly become waterlogged if the soil is constantly wet.

Make sure to water deeply but infrequently to avoid this issue. Another mistake to avoid is not dividing your perennials often enough. Overcrowded plants can become stressed and susceptible to disease, so be sure to divide them every few years to keep them healthy.

Key Takeaways

In summary, growing All Perennials in your garden can be a rewarding and low-maintenance way to add beauty and interest to your landscape. By choosing the right plants for your climate and growing conditions, selecting an ideal site, and providing regular maintenance and care. Dividing and propagating perennials, providing winter care, and avoiding common mistakes can also help keep your plants healthy and vibrant. Furthermore, choosing the right companion plants can add depth and interest to your garden design.

By following these tips, you can create a stunning and functional garden that you'll enjoy for a long time.