Table of Contents
What's a Perennial?
Where should Perennials be used?
Sun or Shade?
How far apart should perennials be
What is dead-heading?
When should perennials be
A flowering perennial is a non-woody plant that dies to the
ground each fall and comes up again each spring. In contrast, an annual plant lives for only one
growing season and a new one has to be planted each spring.
Perennials be used?
Perennials can be used in flower beds with evergreens and shrubs,
as borders, ground covers, color accents, or to add texture to your
landscape design. The accent color may be a single plant, such
as a peony, or a mass planting of daylilies. Perennials also
make good cut flowers, both fresh and dried, for the home.
It is important to know a lot about a
perennial before you plant it. How high does it grow? You
donít want taller perennials to hide smaller ones. When does
it bloom and for how long? You donít want to have all of
your color in one spot and then no color later. What color
is your perennial's bloom and will it clash with other
colors next to it? Do I have to stake the perennial to
prevent it from falling over? Will the deer eat the
perennial to the ground? Does the perennial need sun or
shade? Does it need good drainage?
First consider the amount of light that the plants will receive
and then check the area for the type of soil and drainage. Most perennials prefer a well-drained site, but there are types that
will tolerate poorly drained soils as well as dry soils. Elevating the bed can improve the drainage.
Another point to consider is the mature height and width of the
perennial. Tag should specify this information.
These are some of the things to
consider when planning your perennial garden. To help you
we've put together the
Rave Landscaping Perennial Selection & Design Guide
to take most of the guesswork out of your planning.
Although many planting areas fall in
the range of part sun to part shade, some perennials require full
sun or full shade to reach their potential. Don't rule out a
plant that you like just because the conditions are not exact. Try experimenting a little bit.
With respect to perennials, the
Full Sun - An area that receives at least 6 hours of
direct sunlight - including 4 hours in the afternoon.
Full Shade - An area exposed to direct sun for less
than 4 hours per day.
apart should perennials be planted?
Most perennials can be planted 12 to
15 inches apart. However, planting them 18 to 24 inches apart will provide better air
circulation and keep the larger plants from shading the smaller
Dead-heading is the process of removing individual flowers or
flower clusters after the blooms are spent, faded, or drooping. Removing them before they begin to seed will encourage the plant to
produce more flowers.
Perennials should be cut back in the fall or spring to
approximately 3-4" in height.
Hostas have widely been used as the perennial for shady locations. They have a reputation for their hardiness and disease resistance.
Although many varieties are know for their fragrant, showy flowers,
they are most highly regarded for their beautiful foliage.
These are low growing perennials
often used where grass will not grow like deep shade, rocky or moist
soils, or on steep slopes. Ground covers are often used where
little maintenance is required.
Grasses are graceful, low maintenance
perennials that thrive with minimal care.
Rave's Perennial Selections for a complete list of our
perennials. Also, see our
Perennial Design Guide to take the guess work out of your