Perennials have long been a popular variety of flowering plants. One of the great benefits of growing perennials in the garden is that they come back year after year. Perennials are popular with novice and experienced gardeners alike because of the high return on planting and the potential for beautiful blooms over several seasons.
Another advantage of planting perennials is that they tend to be easy to maintain. In general, perennials are very easy to maintain and require no extra care, usually just a little good quality soil, plenty of water, and plenty of sunlight. However, they do come with a caveat: they are more susceptible to pests and diseases than annuals, which only live for one season. Perennials can also have problems in the fall and winter because they stay planted in the ground and come back year after year.
The best way to prevent pests and diseases is to buy the healthiest plants you can find. Pay special attention to plants purchased at a nursery or home improvement store, and don’t buy plants that show obvious signs of disease, mold, or insect damage. Healthy plants are cold-hardy plants that are resistant to bacteria in the soil. Healthy plants can fight fungi and bacteria and may kill weaker plants.
Once you find them, look for perennials that are resistant to disease. They are specially bred to be resistant to disease and insects. In selective breeding, perennial breeders have worked hard to select specific plant varieties that are resistant to many common gardening problems.
After perennials are planted, they should be checked daily for signs of disease and insects. Ideally, this is when you’ll want to regularly care for your plants, such as weeding and watering. Make this a part of your general plant care. Look for dead leaves, holes or bite marks on the plant’s leaves, black spots on the plant’s leaves or flowers, and bite marks or wounds on the plant’s stems. If you have questions, use a gardening manual and consult a more experienced horticulturist for help. A quick and accurate diagnosis is more likely to save your plant.
The way you water your perennials can affect whether or not they are sick. Watering from above with a sprinkler or other watering method will help water build up on the leaves and promote the spread of fungi and bacteria. Watering from the roots is best done with drip irrigation or a garden hose. This not only prevents water from pooling on leaves and flowers but also gets the water to the roots that need it faster.
Good care of perennials is not at the end of the growing season. It is important to continue to care for your plants after the flowering season is over. Be sure to prune perennials to the specifications of the variety. Some varieties of perennials require significant pruning, while others require little or no pruning. It is important to consider the needs of each perennial variety in the garden.