Hints & tips for growing perennials


Perennials add colour to your garden year after year. They are different from annuals in that they flower every year instead of just once so you don't need to buy new plants every year. A certain amount of money can be saved in that respect.

When choosing plants or seedlings opt for those with healthy green leaves. If the leaves are yellowing or a bronze colour don't buy them even if they are reduced in price.

Buy sturdy plants - not gangly specimens.

Check under the leaves for any bugs before you purchase them.

Before planting, take a look at the roots of your plant/seedlings. How matted are they? If they are very matted then you will need to loosen them manually by gently teasing them apart. If necessary you may even need to cut off a lot of the root ball. The plant may have out-grown its pot in the nursery and the roots may have wound themselves around each other in desperation looking for space and nourishment.

Ensure you know just how big your perennials will grow. These plants are going to be with you for many years so size considerations are very important.

In autumn you may need to dig up your perennials and divide them up into smaller plants. Depending on the variety you may be able to pull the pull the plants apart or you may need to cut them apart. Sometimes the centre of the plant is so dense and woody it may need to be discarded but the new "baby" plants can be removed from around the sides of the older plant. This process is called division and it can produce many new plants for no cost whatsoever.


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