Flowers: Perennials

Gardens & Landscapes February 11, 2008 Print Friendly and PDF

Flowers | Selection | General Requirements and Maintenance | Annuals | Perennials | Bulbs | Problems


Links to external web pages are followed by the source's name in parentheses.

Design

A well-designed garden will add interest throughout many seasons.
A well-designed garden will add interest throughout many seasons.

While it may be tempting to select perennial plants on a whim, you may wish to reconsider since you are likely to have them in the landscape for several, if not many years. While some considerations in picking perennial plants are aesthetic, such as bloom color or time, others such as hardiness or heat tolerance will dictate the ability of the plant to thrive or survive in its growing conditions. These questions and more are discussed in the following articles about the beginnings of a perennial garden.

See:

  • Perennials Offer Ever-changing Garden Views(Dept. of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Purdue University) discusses why choosing perennial flowers can be so rewarding and what is involved with keeping a beautiful display for years to come.
  • Perennial Gardening(Colorado State University Extension). Learn how to select and design with perennials. See the illustrations of drawing a perennial bed to learn how to plan and design a perennial garden on paper.

Culture and Maintenance

Providing proper cultural and maintenance practices for your perennials helps to build robust plants. Plants that receive routine proper care are more apt to display better flowers or foliage, while also enhancing pests or other stress resistant properties. Find information for caring for your perennials by reviewing:

This catmint plant benefits from division when it becomes too overgrown or dense. (photo credit: Karen Jeannette)
This catmint plant benefits from division when it becomes too overgrown or dense. (photo credit: Karen Jeannette)
  • Cultural practices (University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener training slide series). A presentation segment that briefly covers mulching, maintaining foliage and flowers, and division.
  • Dividing Perennials(Yard and Garden Line, University of Minnesota). Plant specific recommendations for the best time and how often to divide some of the most popular perennials.
  • Pruning Perennials(Sustainable Urban Landscape Information Series (SULIS), University of Minnesota). Pruning is not just for woody plants. Herbaceous perennials benefit from this practice too. Learn how you can make perennials live up to their potential through the basic types of pruning: deadheading, cutting back, pinching, disbudding, and thinning.

When it’s the end of the season, what’s the best way to clean up dead foliage?

  • Find out by reviewing the video clip, "Cleaning up Perennials" under the Pruning Perennials & Shrubs section at Hort Corner Video (University of Illinois Extension). Hort Corner Video is produced by the University of Illinois Extension and provides other good video resources for the gardener.

Search for Specific Perennial Flowers

-User hint: Select that "Perennials" button and do a search. Notice there are over 250 perennials for you to see. Use the blue "Resources" box to find more information about each specific perennial.



Flowers | Selection | General Requirements and Maintenance | Annuals | Perennials | Bulbs | Problems

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.