Perennials are flowering plants that live many
years, but die back during their dormant season
which is usually winter. Perennials will grow and
prosper for years, often with little attention.
Each perennial has a peak season of bloom, usually
lasting from one to three months. After the blooms
fade, the foliage remains so the plant can renew
its energy stores for repeating the show again
Throughout much of Florida, perennials can be
planted throughout the year.
Look for plants
without broken stems and with healthy looking
leaves. Sometimes perennials purchased in pots
early in the season appear to be almost dead
because they are still dormant. The appearance of
new green growth is usually accompanied by the
development of new roots. Ideally, the plants
should be situated in your garden before these new
A little later in
spring, many perennials begin to grow in
their pots. It is much easier to select such
plants because you can see what you are buying.
Just be careful to safeguard tender new roots and
buds when handling actively growing plants.
Prepare planting sites for new perennials with
care because these plants often remain in the
garden for many years. Amend the soil with organic
matter and check your soil's pH to be sure it is
not too acid or alkaline. If so, correct the pH
before planting. When setting out new perennials,
carefully spread out the roots in the planting
hole. Water immediately after planting.
- In most
climates, perennials benefit from mulch in
summer which helps control weeds while keeping
the soil moist. Pine needles, shredded bark,
and decayed leaves are popular mulches for
- Plan for a long
bloom time by choosing perennials that flower
at different times of the year.
- Perennials need
good drainage. Very few can tolerate soggy
soil. Be sure to set plants in a location that