How To Plant Perennials
Have you ever planted perennials only to have them not return next spring?
The beauty of the perennial is that it is the plant that keeps on giving, year after year, but they need to be planted properly and cared for properly in order to thrive and return. No other flowering plant grows as big and hardy and as beautiful as the perennial, which is why they are worth the effort. Perennials transform a lawn to a landscape.
When Should You Plant Your Perennial?
Springtime is the absolute best time to plant perennials. This gives them time to take root before the heat of summer. In Loudoun County, mid to late spring is recommended, as you do not want to plant them too early, and risk a cold night, or a frost.
How Do You Pick The Right Perennials?
Think about what you hope to achieve, how much space you are planting in, the amount of sunlight the garden will be getting and the soil condition you will be planting in. Consider your color scheme. Do you like blues and yellows and purples or every color in the rainbow? Some perennials are hardier than others. For a complete guide on flowering plants click here:
Carefully inspect the perennial. Make certain it is free of insects and foliage damage. A bent stem is not an indication a plant is not healthy and can easily be trimmed, although most will flourish after planting. Avoid perennials that are leggy, or overgrown, and instead pick a perennial that is young and vibrant, but not stunted.
Preparing The Soil For Planting:
The soil of Leesburg, Purcellville, Asburn and all the surrounding towns is called Ultisol. It is a hard, red, clay soil lacking in nutrients. It is of the upmost importance to the success of any planting in Loudoun County to properly cultivate the soil. Begin by aerating the soil with a hand tiller or garden hoe. Once loosened, mix with compost, organic matter, peat moss or gardening soil to provide a richer soil ripe with nutrients.
• Treat them gently
• Pick a cloudy day or plant early in the morning or in early evening
• Place the perennials in their plastic containers on the spot you would like to plant them to ensure they have enough space
• Follow the directions on the plant card, which is located in the dirt of the container, to find the recommended inches the perennials need to be planted apart from each other
• Make sure you are planting in the recommended sun/cloud zone
• Remove the perennial from the bucket by lightly tapping the bottom of the bucket, turn the bucket sideways and gingerly work the plant out with your hands
• Dig a whole with a garden shovel deep enough to hold the root ball so the root ball is either flush, or slightly lower than the ground
• Place a bit of water in the hole and mix it together
• Plants in containers are usually root-bound so you will need to loosen the roots with a scissor or your fingertips
• Place the root ball in the hole and fill with soil
• Mulch around the newly planted perennials to provide nutrients to the soil and inhibit weed growth
Watering Your Perennials:
• Water immediately after planting and twice a week thereafter
• Do not over water as this will cause root-rot
Maintaining Your Perennials:
• Clip off dead flowers to encourage regrowth
• Clip back “weedy,” growth (dead buds, stems, etc.)
• Stymie pest and diseases with regular organic fertilization
• Divide perennials if the center begins to die
• Water in times of drought
For more information on gardening in your Loudoun County Garden please click here:
And if you decide you’d rather have someone else plant for you call Brian at Property Services Landscape for a free estimate: 703-771-8176