Perennial plants need proper care and maintenance to survive for three or more years. They are often considered to be low maintenance plants but they do need regular maintenance to thrive. There are many aspects that are crucial for the growth and development of a perennial plant.
With proper care and maintenance, perennial plants can thrive and enhance the beauty of perennial nurseries for many years. Some of the important things that can help in maintaining healthy perennial plants are:
Watering – Perennial plants require ample watering during the growth years. They should be watered well until fully established. Mature and established plants are generally drought tolerant but keep them well- watered during the initial growth stage so that they become healthy and strong. Mulching around the plant can help in retaining moisture in the soil.
Fertilization – Perennial plants do not generally require fertilization if they are grown in average to rich soil. They would do well without fertilization and show signs if they need feeding. You can fertilize the plants if they appear stunted or show other signs of weakness. It is advisable to use fertilizers in less quantity as more fertilization can harm the plants. Some heavy feeders might require more frequent fertilization.
Dividing – Dividing is a crucial part of perennial maintenance. Perennial plants require division to grow and bloom properly. Outgrown plants and mature perennial flower need to be divided so that they can grow with the same vigor. If the plants start to die out or become thin and weak, you can divide them and re- plant in the garden bed. Division is necessary so that the plant does not get stressed.
Getting rid of weeds, pests and diseases – Like any other plant, perennials are susceptible to diseases and pests. However, if the plants are strong and healthy they will be less prone to harmful diseases. It is important to meet the basic requirements of plants so that they become strong. Nasty weeds and diseases can be controlled with the help of weedicides, fungicides and other chemicals. There are many effective inorganic ways also to control weeds, pests and insects.
Staking – Staking might be required for heavy perennial plants that have a thin stem. Sometimes the flower laden stems become weak and are not capable of supporting the plant. You can use stakes before the blooming season to provide proper support to the plants. They will continue to grow normally and hide the stakes with dense flowers in coming season.