The best perennials for your garden
Gardening is not only time-consuming but it can also be pricey. Make the most of your time and money by planting perennials that will come back year after year with little effort on your part. Use your extra time and money on other things you enjoy like sipping cocktails and adding to your ever-growing shoe collection.
When it comes to gardening, perennials give you the best bang for your buck. Many need relatively little care and will come back year after year. That means you don’t have to buy plants or do any digging after the first year. However, some perennials like tulips, while pretty to look at, are not the most efficient plant to invest your money in. Tulips and various other perennials bloom once, for a brief period of time and then they are gone for another year. Others require more care and attention. Unless you enjoy spending your weekends in the yard, consider filling your garden beds with these perennials, many of which are drought-resistant, heat-tolerant and bloom for many weeks.
Coneflower comes in several varieties. The daisy-like blooms come in many warm colors, and some bloom from early summer to the first frost. They don’t mind poor soil quality and even hold up well in drought conditions. Black-eyed Susan is another perennial that is easy to grow, and they also help attract beneficial insects to your yard.
Nothing will give your yard the feeling of a tropical vacation like a hibiscus plant. Many are now bred to be hardy, meaning they will continue to grow back even in colder climates. Hibiscus grow in full sun and come in a variety of colors. Hummingbirds are attracted to hibiscus, making them a fun addition to any yard. They are relatively easy to care for and they make a big impact in any garden.
The daylily works great in beds or pots and will tolerate difficult conditions. Daylilies come in several varieties and multiply quickly. Daylilies have several blooms and if you deadhead the dead blooms often you’ll have a plant with beautiful blooms throughout the summer.
Baptisia forms long spires of flowers surrounded by a bluish-green foliage. The flowers bloom in late spring but the foliage looks lovely well into fall. They are drought- rabbit- and deer-resistant. Butterflies are attracted to baptisia. This perennial doesn’t need to be divided.
Blanket flower produces bright daisy-like flowers in bright hues of red, orange and yellow. The plant is drought-resistant and actually prefers nutrient-poor soil. Plant it and forget about it -- this is perfect for novice gardeners.
The bright flowers we see in window boxes and think of geraniums are not the same as perennial geraniums, so be sure to ask for help or read the label when purchasing plants. Perennial geraniums are some of the longest bloomers of all the perennials. They come in many colors and varieties and some bloom from summer until the first frost.
Most perennials should be split every 2-5 years in the spring to avoid overcrowding and to extend their life. When perennial plants double in size or start dying in the center, it is a good idea to split the plants. Wait until plants have some new growth and then dig down to expose the root system. Simply break the root ball in half or thirds with a shovel and carefully pull apart the roots. Plant the portions of roots in other areas of your yard.