Perennials are a great addition to our landscapes because they come back for many years. They spread to fill in flowers beds and add beautiful blooms throughout the spring and summer seasons. Herbaceous perennials are plants that die to the ground in the winter and returns each spring with new growth from the roots.
When planning a perennials bed think about the amount of light it will receive and spacing. Perennials can be planted throughout the growing season, but usually are planted in spring. Water well at the time of planting and continue to water new plants with one inch of water per week. Once established, watering deeply and infrequently promotes deeper rooting that reduces the need for supplemental moisture. Fertilize new plants with a starter fertilizer, then feed annually with a slow release fertilizer.
Mulch your perennial bed with two inches of organic mulch to conserve moisture, deter weed growth and insulate the ground. Keep mulch away from the crown of the plant to reduce the chance of fungal diseases on plant crowns or fleshy stems. Wait until spring to remove the tops of your perennial plants. They can provide some winter interest in your landscape, but more importantly they help insulate the plant. If the plant is tender, it is a good idea to add a loose mulch layer later in the fall. This prevents the plant from heaving out of the soil with repeated freezes and thaws.
Perennials are great plants because they can be low maintenance. Every three to five years they can be divided to maintain plant vigor. Midsummer bloomers, such as daylilies, are best divided in early spring. Perennials that bloom in the spring should be divided in late summer or early fall. To divide, cut the leaves off the plant, leaving about 6 inches of the top. Dig around the plant with a garden fork and lift the plant. Divide plants with a sharp, sterile knife or spade. Be sure each division has three to five buds for new shoot production.
For a full list of recommended perennial flowers click on the link bellow and check out the Prairie Bloom List. These flowers have been trialed and tested by K-State. They are proven to do well in our Kansas climate.
If you would like more details perennial flowers in your landscape contact Cassie Homan, Post Rock District Horticulture Agent, at (785)738-3597 or by email at email@example.com