You might be reading this wondering what perennials are. Perennials are plants that live for at least 2 consecutive years and are the foundation of nearly every flower garden. Unlike annual plants, which have to be replanted each spring, perennials die into the ground at the end of each season and then regrow from the same roots the following year. People grow perennial flowers because they are easy care, dependable performers, and because they offer an extensive variety of color, texture and form. The lifespan of perennial plants varies greatly. Some species such as lupines and delphinium are called short lived perennials because they only have a lifespan of just three or four years. Others may live as long as fifteen years or even in the case of peonies a lifetime. There are hundreds of different species of perennials. They can vary in size from less than 1 inch to more than 300 feet tall. Some perennials have colorful blooms while others perennials such as ferns and grasses are planted for their foliage. Here are some helpful tips to help you add perennials to your garden:
1) Determine when to plant.
– In Georgia the ideal time to plant perennials is mid to late spring so plants have the opportunity to become established before the heat of summer kicks in. Make sure that perennials are not planted while there is still a chance of hard frosts or temperatures dip below 25 degrees though.
– Research the specific perennial you plan to plant to determine when its ideal planting time is as not all perennials are planted in spring. To do this consult a gardening guide or give Complete Home Services a call.
2. Determine where to plant.
Perennials can be grown in almost any location in the yard or garden. For visual impact consider planting perennials around a tree or in a group in the middle of your yard.
– Determine how much sunlight the area gets where you want to plant. This will be an important factor in selecting the perennials to be grown in the location you choose. If the planting site is in direct sun select sun loving perennials. If the planting site is shaded select perennials that require indirect light or shade. Because perennials vary in growing condition requirements it is possible to find perennials for almost any location.
3. Select your plants.
– Consider the height of each plant. Keep in mind that taller plants may block the light and the view of shorter plants.
– Consider the color. Bright colored plants can brighten up shady spots while dark colored plants can add depth and texture to a full sun garden.
– Consider your plant hardness zone. These zones indicate which plants are suited for winter conditions in your geographic area. This is especially important when selecting perennials as they overwinter and come back year after year. If you select a plant that is not appropriate for your hardiness zone, it can die during the winter months.
– Consider the mature size of the plant. Perennials will grow larger each year. When selecting perennials take into account the size of the mature plant. This is not the same as the container bound plant that is purchased.
If you are still unsure of what types of perennials to choose or what you can grow in your selected location give us a call and we will be more then happy to assist you.
4. Remove weeds and grass.
– Remove weeds and grass from the area in which you plan to plant. The most effective way to do this is to dig them up using a shovel.
– After removing the grass spray the area with an herbicide that will kill any remaining grass or weeds.
5. Prepare the soil.
– Evaluate your garden soil. If your soil has high concentrations of clay you will want to add peat, compost and sand. If your soil has high concentrations of sand add compost to incorporate nutrients and create a richer soil.
– Dig the planting area to a minimum depth of about 8 inches using a spade or a pitchfork.
– Spread organic matter such as manure, compost, perlite and peat moss directly on top of the existing soil and work it into the ground using a shovel or a pitchfork.
– Remove the plant from the container.
– Examine the root. If many roots are visible, the plant is likely root bound. To encourage new growth in a root bound plant slice off the bottom 1/2 inch of roots using a sharp knife and break up the root with your fingers by separating the roots along the side of the root ball. If you don’t do this the roots may continue to grow a circular growth pattern and stunt the plant’s growth.
– Dig a hole that is slightly wider and the same depth as the container it came in. If the perennial is planted too deep the plant will experience stress and may not grow.
– Place the plant in the hole. Gently tap down the soil around the plant using your hands.
– Immediately water.
Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have about planting perennials or to schedule a plant installation or landscape design.
VistaScapes is a Complete Home Services division providing Landscape Design, Installation, Maintenance, Fertilization, Sod Installation, Turf Seeding, Mulching, Lot Cleanup, Erosion Control, Retaining walls, and Hardscaping. Serving Union County Georgia, Fannin County Georgia and Towns County Georgia. For your Home Maintenance needs visit our Complete Home Services website at www.CompleteHomeServicesUSA.