Your Perennial Border
El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.
Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.
English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.
Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.Collapse ▲
Why grow perennial plants?
Perennial plants are a wonderful addition to your garden or landscape. Perennials are plants that, when cared for, come back for several years without being replanted – this saves gardeners the hassle of replanting each year as you do with annuals. Herbaceous perennials will die back above the ground, but come back from their root or crown which persists underground while the plant is dormant over the winter. Woody perennials have stems that persist aboveground through the winter, though their growth typically slows during the winter months.
Choosing and Assessing Your Garden Site
When choosing any plant, you’ll want to match it to your site. Watch this video for tips on what to look for when assessing your garden site.
You may also want to check out this page on selecting landscape plants for more information. With perennials, you may wish to pair plants with different bloom time, textures, and colors. The best perennials will have interesting features other than their flowers. They may have foliage in unique colors or shapes, vibrant fall color, or attract pollinators. Or, perennials may be able to withstand the challenges of your yard – this might be shade, flooding, drought, or pest issues.
Designing the Perennial Garden
When designing your landscape, you will want to consider the height and spread of the plants. Give plants enough space to reach their mature size, and place taller plants at the back of the garden. Grouping several plants of the same variety is pleasing to the eye.
Most people think of spring as the season to plant in the garden, and it is an excellent time to do so. Fall is another wonderful time to install perennial plants in your yard. It is always best to prepare your soil prior to planting. Complete a soil test and use the recommendations when you are preparing the garden.
For containerized plants, be sure to loosen the root ball when you are planting. You want to encourage any roots that might have grown in a circular shape around the pot to begin growing down and out, rather than continuing to circle. The plants should be set in their planting holes at the same height or just slightly higher than the level they were planted in their container. Burying the crown or trunk of the plant can negatively impact that plant’s performance, and may ultimately lead to its death. There are lots of great tips on planting both woody and herbaceous perennials in the NC Extension Gardener Handbook. See: Chapter 10: Herbaceous Ornamentals and Chapter 11: Woody Ornamentals.
Once perennial plants in your garden become established, you may need to divide them. This will give you more plants to move or share, but it can also improve the health of your established plants by giving them more room to grow. Read more about how to divide plants, including videos demonstrating the process, in this article about dividing perennials.
There are lots of great resources to help you learn about perennial plants. Here is a list to get you started:
- Use the NC Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox to learn more about different plants. The “Find a Plant” feature can be used to find a plant that fits your site conditions.
- The NC Extension Gardener Handbook has great information to get you started in your garden. Specific chapters to refer to are:
- Perennial Plant Enthusiasts will be interested in the Perennial Plant Association. Check out their “Perennial Plant of the Year.” Plants that are picked as perennial plant of the year are picked for their outstanding landscape qualities and are tested at sites throughout the country.
- The USDA Hardiness Zones Map will help you figure out what hardiness zone you live in. Once you know your zone, you will be able to pick perennials suitable for your area. In Forsyth County, we are in zone 7b.
- Watch the Homegrown In the Garden videos on NC State Extension’s Youtube channel.
- The Well-Tended Perennial Garden: Planting and Pruning Techniques. Tracy DiSabato-Aust.
- Herbaceous Perennial Plants: A Treatise on Their Identification, Culture and Garden Attributes. Allan Armitage.