What are perennial plants?
Do it Yourself

What are perennial plants?

Perennial plants, such as rose, lily, apple, can live for over two years. These plants may go to seed each year or even die back to the ground. The roots live and may regrow when the conditions are favorable. Succulents like cactus and Aloe Vera are perennials.

Here is a systematic guide to growing perennial with a strong and healthy root system.

When is the best season to plant?

Spring is the best growing season for most plants; the same is the case for perennials. The soil is warm and fertile, the sun is shining for a suitable length of the day, and rainfall is abundant. This season also proves as a perfect time to divide existing perennials that have grown tall and big. The smaller shoots can be replanted elsewhere.

Perennials that bloom in spring or summer receive a sufficient time to grow strong roots and prepare to flower in the approaching growing season. Moreover, nurseries cut down prices on perennials at the end of the season.

Planting methods

Perennials can be planted in three ways:

1. Container-grown perennial plants

These can be bought at any nursery, already growing in a pot. Transplanting is easier this way. Pull the plant out of its pot gently loosening the roots in the process and place in a hole twice the diameter of the pot but no deeper. Fill up the hole with fertile soil and water accordingly. Fertilize a week after planting.

2. Bare-root perennial plants

Although they are cheaper than container-grown plants, they require more effort to transplant. If you are a beginner, you should probably not opt for this. Before transplanting into the soil, soak them in water. Place in the soil as mentioned above and take extra care until the leaves sprout.

3. Seeds

Despite being the cheapest, growing perennials this way is only a cup of tea for the experts. Perennials are slow-growing plants, so you need to practice a lot of patience. Plant the seeds in winters as houseplants and transplant when the season is right.

Taking care of Perennials

Perennial plants require pruning, dividing, feeding, and deadheading to remain healthy and survive for years. You can give support to perennials that are taller such as hollyhocks, peonies, and delphiniums by staking them. Insert a sturdy stick or a rod in the ground to anchor them and tying the stem to it. Plants that are can form clumps can be kept standing by growing them through a hoop. Removing the spent blooms and flower stems help perennial plants to bloom again.

Perennial plants need to be divided as they start to grow big and crowd themselves. They need to be dug out and split into smaller chunks every 3-4 years. Early fall and spring are the best times to divide most perennials. Knowing the zone, you are planting in will help you decide the amount of water and sunlight your perennials can withstand. Some perennials can be affected by powdery mildew which is a common disease that results in a white or gray fuzzy growth on leaves. To keep this, and many other fungal diseases at bay, water perennials in the morning or early afternoon hours and use a soaker hose instead of a sprinkler.

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