As you probably know, perennial plants can live for at least three years and reappear year after year, while annuals are planted and live for only one season. One of the best things about perennials is that with just a little extra care they grow bigger and better each year. Here are a few tips to keep them performing well.
- When buying perennials look for fresh, healthy-looking plants that appear ready to grow. Choose plants that are a good size and have no obvious foliage diseases.
- Water plants early in the morning to avoid losing water to evaporation.
- Regular deadheading (cutting the faded flowers off your plants) encourages repeat blooming.
- Prune off any dead tops in late winter or early spring.
- Stake tall plants before they reach a height of 2 feet to prevent wind damage.
- Many perennials will start to crowd themselves out if they get too big. Every three or four years (preferably in early spring and fall) dig the plants out of the ground and split them into smaller chunks.
- If you have rich soil, simply adding compost on a regular basis should be enough to feed your plants. Poor soil requires a bit more help, and a general-purpose garden fertilizer can be beneficial in promoting growth.
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