Perennials are long-lasting plants
‘Perennial’ is the term for a soft-leafed flowering plant that lasts more than one year. Daisies, lavender and salvias are typical examples.
Because perennials tend to die back in cold weather, many are sold in packages in winter. You have to have a certain amount of faith to plant these packaged specimens, as they’re often little more than a few roots wrapped in something like sphagnum moss. But buying packaged plants is a relatively cheap way of purchasing long-lasting plants for your garden.
Even cheaper is begging some pieces from gardening friends. As time goes by, perennial plants tend to develop larger clumps and, every few years, it’s a good idea to dig these clumps, divide them up and spread the sections to other parts of the garden – or give them to grateful friends.
Another economical way to add flowering perennials to the garden is to grow them from seed but, remember, perennial seeds tend to be trickier to germinate than the free-and-easy annuals. Patience and persistence may be required. Invest in some good quality Yates Seed Raising Mix and, ideally, a Yates Mini Greenhouse. Examples of perennials in the Yates seed range are carnation, dwarf lavender Munstead, Cinderella dahlias, echinacea, gerbera, kangaroo paws and catmint.
Other popular perennials that are grown from division or roots are:
- Alstroemeria (pictured)– Alstroemeria flowers are soft bells in shades of pink, apricot, red and white. Blooms are etched with contrasting markings.
- Canna lilies – Are now grown as much for their coloured foliage as for their tropical-looking summer blooms.
- Daylilies – Daylilies are almost un-killable. Some types die down completely in winter, and the packaged daylilies are most likely to fall into this category. If you want evergreen foliage, it would be advisable to purchase potted plants in the warmer months.
- Delphiniums – These stately flowers are best suited to cold climates. In warmer areas, grow them as an annual.
- Hellebores – Favourites for brightening the late winter garden, hellebores resemble single roses. They’re perfect for planting under trees.
- Kniphofia – Red hot pokers can be yellow, too. The tubular flowers are great for attracting honey-eating birds to the garden. Plants are very hardy once established.
Because your perennial plant is, hopefully, going to last for a number of years, take the opportunity to prepare the soil as thoroughly as possible before planting by digging in plenty of old organic compost or manure. Water plants in at planting time with Uplift Root Booster. Watch for snails. Blitzem or the longer-lasting Baysol will take care of snails and slugs. Most other problems can be controlled with the help of a Yates Rose Gun Advanced. Keep moist while establishing, but don’t overwater. Feed perennials in the growing season with Dynamic Lifter pellets or Acticote, and divide clumps after they’ve been in one place for about 3 years.
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