How could you not love perennials? All you have to do is plant them once, make sure they’re adequately watered and fertilized, and you’ll have beautiful blooms and vibrant foliage year after year. Sure, there’s a little upkeep required, but overall, you get reliable, low-maintenance garden colour that lasts.
Everything You Need to Know to Choose the Best Perennials
Before you mosey on down to the greenhouse and scoop up every plant that catches your eye, there are some things you need to know! Follow this guide to make sure you’re selecting the best perennials to suit your space.
Pay Attention to Hardiness Zones
Edmonton and surrounding areas are classified as Zone 4a, so make sure you’re choosing plants that are hardy to that zone. Many plants can be grown as perennials in warmer climates but can’t handle our cold winter temperatures, so we have to grow them as annuals instead. Most perennials are hardy across a wide range of zones””for example, Echinacea is hardy through Zones 3″“9. Check the hardiness zones listed on your plant’s description to be sure it can be grown as a perennial where you live.
Not All Perennials Will Bloom Their First Year
Some plants need a little longer to establish before you start seeing blooms, so don’t be disheartened if you plant them in the spring and get nothing but leaves for the rest of the year. Many of these varieties have tall flower stalks like Delphiniums, Lupines, and Foxgloves””they won’t bloom their first year, but the required patience is well worth the payoff in the following years!
Perennials Need to Be Divided
As your perennials grow with each year, they’ll begin to spread. Sometimes they’ll get too big, or the middle part of your plant will get old and die off, resulting in a donut-shaped flower display. To avoid this, you can dig up your perennials every few years, split them in half, and replant one of the halves in a different spot.
When choosing the location of your plants, it’s important to keep their size and spread in mind. If you plant them too tightly together and don’t give them adequate space to spread, you’ll encounter stunted growth and other problems down the road.
Choose Perennials with Similar Care Requirements
Some plants, like Hostas, love the shade, while sun-loving varieties, like Gaillardia, prefer 6″“8 hours of direct sunlight per day. Planting these two next to each other will prove to be difficult””you won’t be able to keep them both happy! The same goes for watering requirements””if one plant wants consistently moist soil, and the other one thrives off a bit of neglect and the occasional drought, they won’t make good neighbours. Pair up your plants with other varieties that have the same sun and water preferences, and it’ll be smooth sailing all season.
The Best Perennials for Edmonton Gardens:
Can’t decide what to plant in your garden? Here are some top faves from Salisbury that will brighten up the landscape and attract plenty of butterflies, bees, and even a few hummingbirds!
- Bleeding Hearts
- Gaillardia (Blanketflower)
- Echinacea (Coneflower)
- Monarda (Bee Balm)
Choose Perennials that Complement Your Existing Landscape
When choosing which perennials to add to an existing garden bed, you’ll want to consider a few aspects. Sometimes it’s easy to get excited about how a plant looks on its own, but you also want to create cohesion in your yard! Consider your current design in terms of height, colour, and growth habits, such as spreading perennials or clump growers, and look for additional plants that complement the existing design.
There’s plenty more where that came from! To see our full collection of the best perennials for sale in Edmonton, visit Salisbury Greenhouse in Sherwood Park and St. Albert. Spring is the perfect time to start planting, so hurry before the temperatures get super hot!