Plan Ahead with Perennials

Perennial flowers are a wonderful investment for anyone who wants to have blooms and greenery many years in a row. Where as annuals only last for one season, perennials will come back on their own several years in a row.

Perennials sometimes take longer to grow and bloom, but once they’ve started they’re wonderful because all you have to do is water and weed them… you don’t have to go buy and plant something new every year.

Because of their very nature though, perennial flowers and plants can be a bit frustrating, confusing and discouraging to beginning gardeners. If you put new seeds in the ground for instance, and devote a lot of time watering, feeding and caring for them, only to see nothing happen that first year… you wonder if you did something wrong, or got a bad batch of seeds.

The next year however, and sometimes the year after that, you may find yourself with tons of beautiful plants and flowers.

Because of this, I recommend you plant a combination of annuals and perennials in the same location. This allows you to have beautiful color and greenery from the start, and by the time the annuals start dying off, you may have the beginnings of your perennials.

Choose your perennial plants and flowers wisely though… and their locations too. If you put a creeping ground cover vine in the middle of your lawn one year because you like the idea of having a carpet of dark glossy green leaves with tiny little flowers… you may be stuck with that for quite awhile. Changing your mind the next year and deciding you want regular old green grass instead is fine… but you may end up struggling to fight off the perennial vines you planted in years before.

Many perennials are quite hardy once they’ve taken root and become established. And some – particularly ground covers and vines – are very difficult to get rid of after the fact.

Now some annual plants and flowers will act like perennials, but in reality they’re not. What happens is they drop new seeds at the end of their blooming season, and those seeds crop up the following year. This can be problematic too unfortunately.

I planted four-oclock flowers in the wrong location several years ago. These are supposed to bloom around four in the afternoon, but due to the location mine actually bloom around 4am instead. But they drop hundreds of seeds every single year, so I’m stuck with having them crop up in that location – or pulling them as soon as I see them start cropping up again.

I’m happy about this with my morning glory flowers though. Originally I’d planted seeds for these in a pot, and I put that pot in a good location next to a bush at the front of my house. This allowed the morning glory vines to climb the bush as they grew. Those vines then dropped new seeds under the bush every year since, and I’ve had both a carpet of gorgeous flowers under the bush as well as beautiful flowering vines climbing the bush since.

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