How to Grow and Care for Perennials

How to Grow and Care for Perennials

Perennials are the backbone of many beautiful and long-lasting gardens, offering a wide array of colors, shapes, and textures that can bring life and vibrancy to your outdoor space year after year. Unlike annual plants that need to be replanted each year, perennials return from their root systems, providing continuity and ease of maintenance. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or just starting, learning how to grow and care for perennials can be a rewarding experience that enhances the beauty of your garden. This guide delves into the critical aspects of developing and managing for perennials to help you create a stunning and thriving garden.

Choosing the Right Perennials

The first step in successfully growing perennials is selecting the right plants for your garden. Consider factors such as your climate, soil type, sunlight availability, and the overall aesthetic you want to achieve. Some perennials thrive in full sun, while others prefer partial shade. Choosing perennials that are well-suited to your local climate is crucial to ensure they can survive the winter and thrive during the growing season.

Site Preparation
Before planting perennials, proper site preparation is essential for their success. Start by clearing the area of weeds, rocks, and debris. Depending on your soil type, you might need to amend it with organic matter to improve drainage and fertility. This could include compost, well-rotted manure, or peat moss. Proper drainage prevents root rot and other soil-borne diseases affecting perennials.

Planting Perennials

When planting perennials, consider the spacing requirements of each plant to prevent overcrowding as they mature. Dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball and place the plant at the same depth it was in the nursery container. Gently backfill the hole with soil, pressing it down firmly around the plant. Water thoroughly after planting to help settle the soil and eliminate air pockets around the roots.

Proper watering is crucial during the establishment phase of perennials. Water newly planted perennials regularly to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Once established, most perennials are more drought-tolerant but still require regular watering during dry periods. Water deeply and less frequently to encourage profound root growth. Mulching around the base of your perennials can help retain moisture and suppress weeds.


Feeding your perennials is essential for their growth and blooming potential. Before planting:
Incorporate a balanced slow-release fertilizer into the soil.
Add a layer of compost or well-rotted manure each year to replenish nutrients.
Be cautious not to over-fertilize, as this can lead to excessive foliage growth at the expense of flower production.

Pruning and Deadheading

Pruning and deadheading are critical tasks in perennial care. Deadheading involves removing spent flowers to encourage the plant to redirect its energy into producing more blooms. This not only extends the flowering period but also enhances the plant's overall appearance. Pruning, on the other hand, involves removing damaged or diseased foliage and shaping the plant for a neat and tidy appearance. Cut back perennials in late fall or early spring, depending on the plant's growth habits.

Dividing Perennials

Many perennials benefit from periodic division, which helps rejuvenate the plant and maintain its vigor. Dividing involves splitting the plant into smaller sections and replanting them. This process is typically done every few years or when you notice the center of the plant becoming crowded and less productive. Dividing perennials promotes healthy growth and allows you to multiply your plants and share them with friends or neighbors.

Winter Care

As the growing season comes to a close, it's essential to prepare your perennials for the winter months. Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the plants to protect the root systems from freezing temperatures and frost heave. Some perennials benefit from leaving their foliage intact during the winter, as it can protect them from harsh weather. However, if you're concerned about the appearance of dead vegetation, you can cut it back in late fall.

Common Perennial Pests and Diseases

While perennials are generally resilient, they can still be susceptible to pests and diseases. Watch for common issues such as aphids, slugs, snails, and powdery mildew. Regularly inspect your plants for signs of trouble and address any problems promptly. Integrated pest management practices, such as natural predators or organic treatments, can help keep pest populations in check without harsh chemicals.


Growing and caring for perennials can be a fulfilling and enjoyable endeavor that yields beautiful results year after year. By selecting the right plants, preparing the site correctly, and providing adequate water, nutrients, and maintenance, you can create a thriving perennial garden that becomes a centerpiece of your landscape. Whether you're aiming for vibrant flower beds, serene woodland gardens, or low-maintenance landscapes, perennials offer diverse options to suit your preferences. Patience and dedication will reward you with a stunning garden that evolves and matures over time, providing endless joy and satisfaction.

Black Eyed Susan - TN Nursery

Black Eyed Susan

Black Eyed Susan has vibrant yellow petals and dark, contrasting centers and is a popular and delightful addition to any landscaping project. This native North American wildflower offers a host of pleasing attributes that make it a sought-after choice for gardens and outdoor spaces. From its adaptability to its visual appeal and ecological benefits, it stands out as a versatile and attractive plant. Black Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) is a type of long-flowering Rudbeckia in the aster family Asteraceae. It's also called "brown Betty," and "gloriosa daisy." This upright, fast-growing plant is native to eastern and central North America, with angustifolia, Florida, hirta, and pulcherrima varieties growing in separate regions of the continental United States. Their yellow and gold blossoms tend to bloom from June until after the first frost. Black-eyed Susan Is A Great Border Plant If you're looking for a flower that's versatile enough to grow well in everything from containers to flower beds to more naturalistic landscapes, they are the perfect choice. Their bright, cheery, and prolific blooms are attractive in garden borders, butterfly and wildflower gardens, and meadow plantings. They also make beautiful cut flowers with a vase life of up to ten days. Size, Shape, and Color Of Black Eyed Susan Most Black Eyed Susan grow 1'–3¼' tall and 1'–1½' wide. Their long, bristly leaves grow near the base of the plant, while their daisy-like flowers rise high above the foliage. Each 2"–4" wide blossom features eight to thirty yellow-gold florets that radiate from a dark brown, black, or greenish-colored cone-shaped seed dome. Attract Pollinators With Black Eyed Susan From TN Nursery To attract pollinators like butterflies and bees throughout the summer, be sure to include it in your landscaping plan. These flowers are also loved by mosquito-eating dragonflies and birds. Pollinators enjoy the flowers' nectar as they move from plant to plant, causing them to grow seeds that birds eat in winter. When left alone, their seed pods usually dry out and disperse nearby, which may open areas and roadsides with new flowers the following year. Some varieties will start to flower the same year, in June, while others bloom later. Removing faded flowers, also called "deadheading," can prolong the blooming season. However you select and maintain your plants, you're sure to love the way they brighten your garden.

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