If you’re new to gardening, you may have heard the term “perennial” thrown around. But what exactly is a perennial? And how is it different from other types of plants? In this article, we’ll answer those questions and more.
Perennials are plants that live for more than two years. Unlike annuals, which complete their life cycle in a single growing season, perennials will come back year after year.
Types of Perennials
There are many different types of perennials, including:
- Herbaceous perennials: These are plants that have soft, green stems and usually die back to the ground in the winter. Examples include hostas, daylilies, and peonies.
- Woody perennials: These are plants with woody stems, such as trees and shrubs. They can live for many years, and some can even live for centuries.
- Evergreen perennials: These are perennials that keep their leaves year-round. Examples include holly and juniper.
- Deciduous perennials: These are perennials that lose their leaves in the fall. Examples include maple and oak trees.
Advantages of Perennials
Perennials have several advantages over other types of plants:
- They require less maintenance than annuals, which need to be replanted every year.
- They can provide color and interest to your garden year after year.
- They’re generally more drought-tolerant than annuals.
- They can help prevent soil erosion and reduce water runoff.
Caring for Perennials
Caring for perennials is relatively easy. Here are some tips:
- Make sure your perennials are planted in well-drained soil.
- Water them deeply and regularly, especially during the first year after planting.
- Deadhead spent flowers to encourage more blooms.
- Prune woody perennials in the late winter or early spring.
- Divide herbaceous perennials every few years to keep them healthy and vigorous.
Perennials are an excellent choice for any gardener who wants to add color and interest to their garden without a lot of extra work. With proper care, they can provide years of enjoyment and beauty.
So the next time you’re at the garden center, consider picking up a few perennials to add to your collection. Your garden (and your future self) will thank you!