As perennials are classed as plants that live for two or more years as opposed to shorter-lived annuals, they’re essential for gardeners chasing longevity.
True annuals are plants that germinate, flower, set seed, and die all in one season. The ultimate goal for these types of plants is to reproduce themselves and seed, and will in turn flower like crazy until their mission is accomplished. For the crafty gardener, methods such as deadheading prevents seed formation, which can often see many annuals amp up their flower production and continue to bloom profusely until the first frost arrives.
However, the downside of these varieties is that most annuals and biennials need to be replanted each year in order to keep the production line going. As an alternative, many gardeners who tire of this process turn their attention towards perennials, or plant varieties that have a lifespan which often translates to lower maintenance and a bigger bang for your buck.
Everything You Need To Know About Perennials
By definition, perennial means lasting or existing for a long or apparently infinite time; enduring or continually recurring. In the plant world, perennials aren’t immortal, but do usually live comfortably anywhere between two and five years.
Marigolds, violas, calendulas, borage and nasturtiums are all fan favourites when it comes to flowering perennials, and many of these blooms can be found in feature pots, hanging baskets or alongside an entrance path to properties. In comparison, perennial vegetables grow from a dormant root or tuber usually called a crown, with common varieties including artichoke, arrowroot, horseradish, rhubarb and even avocado.
However, just because perennials are regarded as lower maintenance than their annual counterparts, doesn’t mean that they are able to fully take care of themselves without a little bit of assistance from the Gardener In Chief at your abode. As a general rule, a handful of the basics linked to perennial care include the following.
Timing Is Everything – While perennials are often regarded as tolerant to colder weather, younger varieties usually don’t do so great in the heat of summer. When planting baby perennials, aim to do so in the spring to allow them enough time to get comfortably established before the annual heat waves arrive.
Mulch Like Mad – Perennials are notoriously hardy, and shouldn’t need any special winter care. However, spreading a layer of mulch over them after the soil freezes can help prevent winter damage during an especially cold season, and it’s also a good idea to do the same when first planting them in your garden to help with water retention.
Divide And Conquer – Despite popular belief, even perennials don’t last forever. However, one way that gardeners can boost their life span is to dig them out of the ground and split them into smaller chunks every three or four years, with early spring and autumn considered to be the best time to do so.
Monitor Moisture – There’s no one size fits all approach to how much water perennials like, with the only exception being when they first go into the soil and require a good soaking. Moisture-loving perennials include lysimachia, perennial hibiscus, marigold and turtlehead, while perennials that do better in dry soil include lamb’s ears, lavender, yarrow and thyme.
Aim For Strong Roots – The strength of a perennial lies in the condition of its roots, and the health of the soil in which they reside. Consider adding a natural plant food like Biotic Booster to optimise the soil and encourage essential nutrients and microbes, as well as defending your perennials against unwanted invaders like pests and diseases.
Ultimately, the more you’re able to encourage a self-sufficient and sustainable ecosystem in your garden, the happier your new plants and seedlings will be. However, sometimes your flora friends may need a little extra help in fending off unwanted invaders, but that doesn’t mean resorting to pesticides that may have negative consequences on the health of your soil, plants, and even local wildlife – so what’s the alternative?
Embrace The Safer Way To Spray
Spending time outside and in the garden is not only good for our overall well being, but it’s also an easy way to start educating yourself on the importance of sustainability.
If you’re noticing foreign invaders popping up in your garden, a naturally produced weed killer like Bioweed is a safe way to keep them under control. As a non-residual solution, it will break down into the soil in as little as 72 hours and can combat over 200 invasive weed species, making it safe for you, your family, your pets, and your local native wildlife to navigate.
Bioweed is the brainchild of well established agricultural leader Greenpro, and is backed by over twenty years of research and development. Owned and manufactured in Australia, the primary ingredient of Bioweed is actually sustainably sourced pine oil, and is even approved by NASAA, ACO and APVMA for use around organic farms and food production.
If you’re on the hunt for a natural weed killer, more organic gardening solutions, or simply want to know more about eliminating weeds safely, check out other tips and tricks in our online advice forum, or contact us for any further queries.