What is the difference between a perennial and an annual? Primarily, a perennial will grow back again each spring while annuals must be replanted year after year. Ace Hardware of Fort Collins has perennials, and the great news is that they can be planted almost all the way up until fall!
Lifespan: Perennials do grow back each year, but their lifespan is still limited. Some perennials, like lupines, have a lifespan of only 3-4 years. Others can live up to 15 years. Either way, they need to be replanted less frequently than annuals do. For this reason, many people choose perennials to add color and enhance the beauty of their gardens and yards.
Planting: After picking out your plant(s), plant them as soon as possible. Dig a hole that is larger than the root ball. Water them thoroughly and even incorporate fertilizer to help boost growth and root strength. You can find more information about fertilizing plants on one of our recent blogs. Remember that they will grow to be much bigger than how they look in their containers. Give them enough room to flourish.
Since we’re entering the hot summer months, it’s important to plan when you are planting. Intense heat can be difficult on new plants, so choose a cloudy day or wait until the early evening when the heat isn’t as direct.
Perennials can be planted in the fall. The soil is still warm enough that the roots have time to get established before the first freeze.
Watering: Most perennials need to be watered infrequently but thorough. Water just a few times per week. Of course, maintenance varies depending on which perennial you have. Check plant tags or do research to learn how to take care of your specific type of plant.
Mulching: Often, perennials are planted to achieve a full, dense look. But when perennials are first planted, there will be a few spaces as you give them time to fill in. During this time, it’s important to add mulch around the base of your plants. Mulch keeps weeds down, holds in moisture, and is aesthetically pleasing. If planting in the fall, mulch is crucial. It will help to insulate the soil.
Dividing Plants: Once perennials have had time to grow and are becoming larger, you can divide them and relocate part of the plant somewhere else. To do this, choose a time in the year that the plant is not in full bloom. Dig up the plant and pry it apart with forks or cut it apart with a shovel. This is a good time to discard any dead part of the plant as well, and replant healthy parts.
If you’re interested in adding some perennials to your garden, come visit Ace Hardware of Fort Collins. As of right now, our greenhouse is still open where we have a few varieties patiently waiting for you to take them home! Come see our Double Wave Petunia, Dracula, or vegetable plants and herbs that would love to be replanted at your home. Take a stroll through our greenhouse at 1001 E Harmony Rd in Fort Collins.