What Are Perennial Flowers

Are you tired of buying potted summer flowers every year that barely last to Labor Day? You can save money long term as well as precious time by adding more perennial flowers to your patio and garden. If you're clueless why perennial flowers are different, the following information will help.

What are perennial flowers?

In a nutshell, perennial flowers grow for more than one season. When they are cut back at the end of summer or fall, they bloom again all by themselves the next spring. Perennial roots remain alive under the soil. While some perennial flower varieties might only come back a couple of years in succession, others have a much longer lifespan.

Do perennial flowers require special care?

The heartiest perennial flowers adapt to different climates and resist disease and pests. Other than watering them per horticultural guidelines and snipping off the heads of dead flowers (called deadheading) occasionally, they require very little care. Under the right conditions, perennial flowers offer a wealth of beautiful blooms all summer that can be cut and enjoyed indoors.

How perennial flowers reproduce

When you buy a perennial plant in a pot for replanting, it adapts every year through vegetative reproduction. Depending upon the type and variety of flower, reproduction occurs in structures such as bulbs, tubers, woody crowns or rhizomes. These specialized parts are what protect their roots and allow them to survive in a dormant state during cold and dry weather.

Other types of perennial flowers

In addition to annual flowers that have only one season of life, there are also two other groups that are similar to both perennials and annuals:

  • Annual/perennial: Depending upon the planting zone, flowers that fall into this group can behave as either an annual or a perennial. Climate and geography influence their lifespan. As an example, in southern climates, these plants grow faster and have a longer growing season than in northern zones. A black-eyed Susan flower might perform like an annual plant in Mississippi, but in Pennsylvania it grows like any other perennial.
  • Biennials: When grown from seeds, these flowers need two years to mature. During the first year, small leaves appear above the soil surface. It isn't until into the second year that stems appear, then flowers and finally seed formation occurs right before the flower dies.

Benefits of perennial flowers

Not all perennial flowers bloom at the same time, which makes them a versatile addition to any garden. Choose varieties that bloom in early and late summer or fall, and your garden will be alive with color for many months. Another benefit of perennial flowers is that even after their blooms fade, many have attractive, lush foliage that lasts even longer and adds unique textures and interest wherever they are planted.

When you add perennial flowers to your garden, doing so doesn't mean that you have to give up your favorite annuals. The best gardeners learn how to combine all types of flowers that turn their yard into a rainbow of colors.

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