Perennial plants and flowers stay around for more than just one
gardening season. Some of them bloom again for only about 3 years,
while others will continue to bloom for many years to come.
Now sometimes the first year you plant a perennial, you won't be
overly impressed. You see, that first year the plants need to get used
to the new environment. Some of them will produce blooms that first
year, but some of them won't do a thing until at least the second
year. And that's when you start seeing progress too. The perennial
plants and flowers start really filling out and taking hold in the
second year. And by the third year, they're so well established you'll
look like a gardening pro.
When planting perennials - as with any plant, flower, shrub, bush or
tree - you need to choose a location for the plant based on soil
quality, water availability, and sunlight. Once you have the location
chosen, plant your perennials with plenty of room for them to grow
over the years. If you put them too closely together in the beginning,
you'll find yourself moving them frequently as time goes by.
Planting them with room to grow will make your perennial garden look
sparse though, so you may be unhappy with it after you're done. One
way to help fill in the bare spots, and add some quick color, would be
to scatter annuals in between.
Annual plants and flowers tend to grow and bloom for just one
gardening season. They grow quickly though, and some of them flower
for months on end. This makes them very popular with many gardeners.
Since annuals don't usually come back on their own in the next season,
you won't have to worry about crowding out your budding perennial
plants. So that first year when they look straggly and sparse, mix in
some annuals to liven things up. Then when the second year comes
along, if you still have a few bare spots: plant a few more annuals.
You'll probably need less this second year of course, because the
perennials have started to flourish. By the third year, the perennials
should be doing quite well on their own... so you won't even have room
to plant annuals in your perennial garden bed!
Popular perennial plants and flowers include: Calla Lilies, Coral
Bells, Hibiscus, and Hosta.
Reprinted with permission.
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