You’ll always notice the perennials first when you look at a garden. And no wonder! Beds of Sage, Daylilies, Astilbes, Ecinacea and Lavender are spectacular. And colourful borders of Asters, Campanulas or Myosotis are equally eye-catching.

How to choose your flowers

Choosing the right perennials to integrate into a planting bed takes some research first. You’ll need to consider:

  • Sun exposure
    • Full sun = over 6 hours/day
    • Partial-shade = 4 to 6 hours/day
    • Shade = 2 to 4 hours/day
  • Water needs
  • Fertilizing requirements
  • Soil type: In most cases, the soil can be improved (amended) to suit your plant’s needs
  • Growing characteristics: height, spread, single plant, and common rootstock

How to plant your perennials

Potted perennials can be planted throughout the gardening season, from the last frost to the first. The period between May and September is ideal; though try to avoid really hot, dry days. If you can’t plant your perennials right away, set them in a shaded location out of the wind. Be sure to water daily.

Bare-rooted perennial plants should be planted during their dormant period, from early to mid-spring, or in the fall.

  1. Choose an overcast day to plant, or avoid the mid-day period when the sun is at its hottest
  2. Till the soil to a depth of 45 to 60 cm and mix in a soil amendment
  3. Remove any weeds
  4. Dig a hole of the same height as the pot. The surface of the root ball must be flush with the ground around the planting bank. The hole must be large enough to accommodate the root ball.
  5. Check the collar level and tamp the ground with your hands to the bottom of the hole
  6. Add a mixture of fertilizer such as compost, peat moss or manure over the first 10 to 15 cm of soil. For clay soil, incorporate a coarser compost (forest compost) to lighten it and prevent compaction.
  7. Apply biostimulants such as mycorrhizal fungi
  8. Remove the plant from its container by holding it by the collar. If the roots are too thick, use sharp pruning shears to trim the roots and break up the root ball.
  9. Water thoroughly.
  10. Check how the plant reacts after planting and do not hesitate to move it if necessary.
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