One of the most popular types of plants to grow are perennials. Finding the right ones to thrive in your garden takes research. While perennials require some maintenance to keep them healthy and looking their best, they will return each year on their own.
To get your perennials off to a great start here are some tips:
- Water them regularly to get them started. Planting them in the fall or spring gives them plenty of time to get established.
- Good soil helps them spread their roots and prosper. Before you start turn over your soil and add quality compost.
- Make sure you have good drainage. Your plants will be much happier if you take this step.
- When planting perennials, make sure you plant them in the right location (shady areas for shade-loving plants and sunny locations for sun-loving plants) and give them plenty of space (2-3 feet) so they can grow and spread.
If you have already planted your perennials, here is a simple formula for getting your perennials to thrive.
- First, water them early in the morning so they will receive most of their moisture during daylight hours and when temperatures are low.
- Second, add mulch around the plant's base and keep it at least 2 inches deep so it will protect against weed growth and retain moisture.
- Third, add a layer of compost every fall before winter arrives for added nutrients and aeration.
- Last, select fertilizers with specific nutrients such as iron or manganese for color variations or iron for yellowing leaves.
Here are some of our favorite perennials that are easy to grow and can easily thrive in your garden:
Achillea - Achillea is native to Europe, North American, and Asia. It also goes by the name Yarrow and is an herb used in the kitchen as well as an ornamental plant used in medieval gardens. Native Americans used it as herbal medicine. It is valued for its combination of drought tolerance and color-giving blooms that attract bees and butterflies if planted near flowers or vegetables that need pollinating. Achillea may be grown in containers on the patio or at the back door for quick access. In the field of cooking, achillea is often used to flavor salads and other dishes. The leaves can be dried for use as a seasoning. The plant needs well-draining soil and prefers partial shade or sun exposure. It can grow up to six feet tall but can also be maintained as a groundcover by mowing the leaves off frequently. It is best to plant them in early spring and late fall. Hardiness zones 3-9.
Coreopsis - Coreopsis, also known as tickseed, belongs to the daisy family. There are about 60 species of Coreopsis found throughout North America. Coreopsis is a perennial that can be planted in fall or spring. Plant it to provide landscape color. The plants grow up to 3 feet tall and have oval leaves with finely serrated edges. They bloom in the summer months and are found in many colors such as white, yellow, pink, red, and purple. Coreopsis was given its name because it resembles CORE-opsis which means "the eye". Many gardeners plant coreopsis as an annual to provide seasonal color. If planting as an annual, sow seeds in the fall for blooms the following year. If planting as a perennial, sow seeds in late winter or early spring. Choose a location with full sun and well-drained soil. Water plants regularly and provide weekly fertilizing for best results. Hardiness zones 2-11.
Hosta - Hosta is a genus of plants that includes more than 300 different types. If you have a shady or shaded area in your garden, a Hosta is a perfect plant to grow. They are shade-loving plants that can be used as a ground cover, as well as for decorative purposes. Hostas grow best in moist, acidic, and well-drained soils. Plant them in the spring or early fall season. They should not be planted too deep (or too shallow). The most common way to plant Hostas is to cut the plant off at the base and make a hole wider than the root ball then place the plant into the hole. After planting your Hosta, water it thoroughly then wait for it to start growing again before fertilizing it with a high-nitrate fertilizer.
Liatris – Liatris is a genus of flowering plants in the amaryllis family and is also known as Blazing Stars. It is native to the eastern and central United States and eastern Canada. The flowers on the Liatris plant are typically purple or pink but can also be white, though they can be any color depending on the variety. Planting Liatris is a good way to brighten up the look of your yard or garden. The tall, purple flowers are typically planted in fall after other plants have died back. They make an excellent border for a bed and will keep other plants from encroaching on your vegetable patch. They also make a great backdrop to flowering annuals which will bloom all summer long. Liatris usually grows to 1-3 feet tall on average. They grow well in USDA Hardiness Zones 2-10. They are deer resistant, so they are suitable for planting in an area where deer is present.
Sedum – Sedum is a genus of flowering plants in the family Crassulaceae that contains roughly 600 species. They are found throughout the world but are most commonly found in colder regions. Sedum can be used to provide ground cover, garden edging, and erosion control. It is a succulent that can be grown in all kinds of soils. Planting Sedum is a simple but an effective way of brightening up your garden. They are well-known because they provide an unusual pop of color. These plants are low maintenance as they do not need much water as well as any fertilizers. Sedum can be planted in a pot with drainage holes so the plant doesn't drown from too much water. It is important to water your plant regularly but not too often as it could rot the roots of the plant if it gets too wet. You can plant sedum in either spring or fall. Choose areas with well-drained soil and dry conditions. Be sure to choose an area with full sun exposure (at least six hours per day). They grow well in USDA Hardiness Zones 3-10.