Perennials: What are they and how to grow them?

Gardening is a great way to relax and enjoy some ‘me’ time, and if you’re looking to transform your garden or even just pick up a new hobby, YouGarden has all the tips and tricks you need.

Perennials are a great and easy way to add a pop of color to your garden, being both easy to grow and care for.

So if you’re looking to add some perennials to your garden but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place.

What are perennials?

Perennials are a type of plant that live for more than two years.

They grow and bloom during the spring and summer months then die back during the autumn and winter months, before returning again in the spring.

These are opposed to annuals that only bloom for one season.

How to grow and care for perennials

Perennials are supplied either as plug plants or small potted pants.

You can plant grown-on plants into beds, borders or containers. YouGarden recommends larger diameter pots of 25cm or more to allow them to grow over the years.

If growing in the border, space the plants out around 45cm apart so they have enough room to grow for maximum impact.

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Plant using good quality compost such as YouGarden’s Premium Professional mix, mixed with soil.

If you have clay soil it is worth adding some sand/grit to aid drainage. Add some organic fertiliser, such as Fish Blood and Bone or well-rotted organic matter to aid growth.

Keep perennials well-watered during hot or dry spells, but don’t overwater them in wetter weather. Apply a light mulch and feed in early spring.

YouGarden recommends cutting perennials back in order to keep them neat and tidy. This also improves their flowering potential.

You can cut them back in either autumn or spring.

Cutting back in autumn will make your garden look tidy for winter, but it removes height and structure – which you may want to keep for winter interest, and also to provide shelter for wildlife – in which case cut back in spring.

YouGarden recommends leaving less-hardy perennials (such as Penstemon) until the Spring. This is so the old stems and foliage can protect the crown of the plant from the worst frosts.

When cutting back in spring, cut close to the “crown” of the plant. Take great care to make sure you do not remove any new shoots or damage the crown.

The “Chelsea Chop” is often done to taller perennials, this will improve branching and flowering. This will be done at the time of the Chelsea Flower.

For more information on perennials and to order your plants, visit the YouGarden website.

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