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Perennial Care - Planting, Care and Cutting Perennials are perennial plants whose stems are not lignified. The expert speaks of herbaceous plants. Perennials thrive in spring, blooming from early summer to fall, depending on the variety, and retreat to the subsurface in winter. The above-ground part dies off. The plants need sufficient nutrients to gain strength for the winter.
Perennials in German gardens
In addition to native perennials, many plants from the Mediterranean region and even from Africa, Asia and America can be found in German gardens. The hibernation is therefore not uniform in the perennials. Some varieties need no protection, others need to be dug up. Hollyhock and larkspur are hardy as native perennials and do not need protection from frost. The tubers, the dahlia originating from Mexico, must be excavated and stored frost-free. There are a few thousand varieties of perennials that differ significantly in size, appearance, flowering and winter hardiness. The small lily-of-the-valley is just as much a part of the perennials as Riesenknöterich, which can easily bring it up to 4 m. Poppies, irises, spring daisies and bluebells are also among the perennials. Despite all diversity, care has many similarities.
Put the plants in the garden
All perennials are usually set only after the frost. Most varieties are offered in pots with root balls, other than tubers. To make the plants easier to start, water the tubers or root bales before planting. At the plantation site, mix compost into the soil to make it loose and permeable. In addition, you ensure sufficient nutrient supply for the rapidly growing perennials. The optimal planting depth varies depending on the variety. When cooking pots, the top of the soil in the pot should be flush with the garden soil after digging. For high-growing varieties, a support is needed, especially as breeding varieties often form large and heavy flowers. To avoid damaging the sprouting roots, insert the support into the ground immediately after planting. For this purpose, take branches of elms and alders branched to give the plants a natural support. You can also plant hardy perennials in autumn, which is an advantage in some species, such as the iris, because they are always planted as tubers. By contrast, the best planting time for potted produce is spring.
Ensure favorable starting conditions for perennials
Now the perennials only need enough water to grow. If you have not used compost, you can use fertilizer as fertilizer. Perennials usually sprout after a few days. Since the fresh green attracts snails, it can happen that this budding goes unnoticed. Snails eat faster than the plants can grow. A protection against this feeding is absolutely necessary, without suitable measures the snails manage to destroy even strong perennials. Sprinkle plenty of slug pellets in the planting area. Because compost may contain snail eggs, it should be heated in an oven for a few hours at 100° C before use.
Nursing measures during flowering
Perennials, like other flowers, form seeds after flowering. However, this is usually not desired in the gardens because the plants are to form strong subterranean parts, from which they expel next year. Seed formation costs the plant unnecessary force. In addition, perennials stop flowering with the formation of the seed. The above-ground parts die off as soon as the seed is ripe. If the plant loses its flower before it comes to seedling, most species start to flower again. Therefore, it is important to cut off the flowered flowers immediately. A hollyhock does not bloom to the top of the shoot when the lower flowers develop seedling. Therefore, make sure to cut out the bloomed immediately. Most perennials also start a vigorous after-flowering when stems are cut out with flowers for the vase. In this point, the perennials react differently. Delphinium will begin a second phase of vegetation after a vigorous pruning after flowering, while irises and poppies will not tend to resume flowering. But the seeds are beautiful, it would be a pity to do without them.
Pruning in autumn
The aboveground plant parts die off in the autumn for all perennials. The parts can, depending on the species, dry or stand on the ground and rot in the wet. As a rule of thumb, everything that can rot is removed, the rest cut back to 10 centimeters. Leave a thin layer of leaves on the ground, it serves as frost protection. In addition, leaves and remaining stalks provide shelter for small animals. Cut these plant parts just after the winter just above the ground. Now the perennials need fertilizer again. Give copious amounts of compost on the ground in the fall and early in the spring.These must not be dug up, because otherwise they will damage the roots of the perennials. Sensitive perennials, such as the dahlias, must of course be dug up before the onset of ground frost. These tubers spend the winter in a cool and dry room in a box of sand.
Long-term care of perennials
Even with the best care, the plants will bloom less after a few years, in some species only after 10 years. Now is the time to dig up the plant completely and divide it with a sharp knife. Put the parts in different places. After this makeover, the perennials grow vigorously and bloom again strengthened. It does not bother most perennials if this division is done earlier because the offshoots are needed. Many of the plants are able to grow from a small part of the underground shoots into a large perennial in a few years.
Worth knowing about the care
Perennials need to be fertilized regularly, but from mid-July fertilizer should no longer be given. If the planting bed is well prepared, annual surface fertilization in early spring after rain is sufficient. The fertilizer should be worked well into the soil, with the leaves not to come in contact with the fertilizer, so that combustion can be avoided. If the soil is supplied with compost or other organic fertilizer, a mineral fertilizer can be dispensed with.
In drought, perennials, like all other plants, must be sufficiently watered. The quantity depends on the location and the climate. The perennial species also plays a crucial role. In any case, the casting should not be allowed to wait so long for the mature flowers and leaves to relax.
Young plants need much more water, but after the growth, the water should be reduced and then irrigation should only take place in drought. Irrigation is ideally done in the mornings or evenings and not in the midday sun.
Special attention should be paid to the removal of weeds, as this deprives the plants of moisture and nutrients. It is important to ensure that the roots of the crop are not damaged. Basically, you should not hack around the perennials but only work flat. The gaps between the perennials should be closed with a mulch cover, especially in freshly laid out beds and borders. As a mulching material bark humus, grass clippings and half rotting compost is recommended. Mulching prevents weed growth and improves soil structure.
Perennials not only demand sufficient care in summer, but also demand protection in winter. If it is necessary to implement a perennial, this should be done in late autumn. Winter protection can also take the form of dry leaves and spruce.
As a rule, perennials are not particularly susceptible to pests and diseases, provided the soil conditions are good. Possible feeding damage by snails and an aphid infestation. The perennials should be controlled and, if necessary, treated, especially in the growth phase.