From professional greenhouse growers to the amateur gardening enthusiast, many consider planting perennials to be the single smartest investment a person can make to add flair and longevity to their garden beds.
A herbaceous perennial is a plant that, once fully matured, will grow year after year with little to no maintenance required. Like any other plant or flower, its top will die down during the cold winter season, but because of its vigorous nature, its roots will remain unscathed, lying dormant until spring brings warmer weather and more desirable conditions for its next bloom. This unique species of plant can continue this cycle for three or more seasons.
A few popular perennial plant types are: roses, mums, day-lilies, and trilliums. Certain perennials do better in certain areas, so keep an out around the neighborhood to get a better understanding of which ones will continuously thrive under your local weather conditions.
Unlike annuals, a perennial is unlikely to grow from seed to flower within its first season. The reason for this is because during its smaller vegetative state, a perennial will use most of its energy to develop a strong robust root system to ensure it survives the winter and lives for many years.
For those wanting their perennials to flower during the upcoming season, it’s a good idea to purchase an already established perennial plant from a local nursery, and transplant accordingly.
The advantages that come with planting a perennial in your garden are almost endless. To save you some time, here are just a few.
For the most part, a perennial is a set and forget process, unlike annuals that dies back every year, a perennial that thrives in a certain area survive for years on end, sometimes even decades.
Certain perennial plants will only continue to bloom and thrive if they are dug up and their vast root system is divided. Doing this not only helps the plant survive longer, but will create many more plants during the following season, which can be transplanted elsewhere or given to a friend.
A perennial garden is ultra dynamic. They grow and bloom at their own special time with each season. And unlike annuals that dies back and takes months and months to fully bloom, a perennial can fully flower in under six weeks.
While the bright colors and complex flowering structure is appealing, many perennial species come with attractive leaves and foliage too, which can add appeal to any garden, even during the winter months.
The simplest way to get started with planting a perennial that lives for many years in your flower bed is to purchase a nursery-grown plant locally. Although these may be slightly more expensive than annual flowers, the fact that their flowers return year after year makes them a terrific value, saving you both time and money in the long haul.
While a perennial’s flowering time will vary from plant to plant, the most desirable time of year to plant a perennial which will flower in summer and fall, for example, is during the spring. On the contrary, a perennial that hits full flower during the spring is best planted during the summer or fall.
While annuals are the flower of choice for display in mainstream garden centers and for smaller gardens, the perennial flower is quickly becoming the most exciting, visually appealing addition to gardens around the world.