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Last Update 06/03/08

Growing Perennials

About Perennials


Perennial Planting Tips
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 next year.

Buying Plants
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 roots develop.

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.

Perennial Planting Tips
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 perennials.
  • 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 drains well.


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