Perennials are plants that bloom year after year. Unlike annuals, which must be replanted each year, perennials, when taken care of properly, can sometimes last decades in a garden. Perennials are usually harder to care for than annuals, but make up for this in the long run.
There are many advantages to growing perennials. Some perennial plants will only thrive if they are dug up every few years to divide the root system. In this way, the one original plant will become several plants that can be shared or replanted.
Another advantage to a garden of perennials is that the garden is dynamic. Perennials usually bloom for only about one to six weeks, unlike annuals, which bloom for a long time. By selecting plants with different bloom times, a garden will change its look, depending on which flowers are in bloom.
Unfortunately, unlike annuals, perennials do not usually bloom their first season. This is due to the plant using its energy to on the root system, ensuring that it will live through the winter months. Many garden centers will stock perennials that have already grown for a season or two, and these should bloom in the first season.
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Sometimes, you just don’t know what to plant in your yard. There’s so many options, and you just don’t know where to start! For a good perennial bed, you need seasonal interest, height differences, and textural changes. Sounds overwhelming, right? Continue reading
In the fall, gardens are full of both asters and butterflies. There are lots of the white cabbage-type butterflies that have been around since early spring, monarchs preparing for their long journey south, yellow sulphurs doing their swirling dance in the air and scads of tiny brownish-orange butterflies whose names I don't even know. About once a day a red admiral or two pops through, flying quickly and never stopping anywhere very long.
The butterflies land on the few flowerheads left on the butterfly bushes, then move on to the hundreds of small, daisy-like blossoms adorning the various asters. The colorful flyers seem especially partial to the taller aster varieties...maybe because those statuesque plants are closer to the sky? The lower growing asters, like those of the Woods series (Woods Blue, Woods Pink, etc.), also see their fair share of butterflies, skippers and pollinating insects.
Planting perennials requires extra care than planting annuals does. This is due to the nature of the plants themselves. Most flowering perennials will generally not bloom their first season, due to the necessity of strengthening the root system for the coming winter. When planting, many factors must be taking into consideration to ensure long plant life.
The first factor to take into consideration is the location. Some perennials can withstand colder winters than others. To check which plants can survive in each region, you can look at the plant hardiness zone map. Sunlight and soil conditions must also be taken into consideration. Obtain this information before planting perennials in any location of the garden. Continue reading