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How to Grow & Care for Perennial Flowers

Keep your garden fresh and full all season with flourishing perennials and shrubs. Each has a distinct blooming period lasting several weeks, so choose plants with different bloom times to ensure continuous colour. By carefully selecting long-lasting, complementary plants with similar care requirements, you'll have continual blooms and shrubs that will add character to your yard.

1 Choose Carefully

Perennials come up every year while shrubs will also last for years to come, so get the most value by choosing plants you know are hardy in your region. Drought-tolerant plants will also provide for a low-maintenance landscape.

2 Plant Smart

Since shrubs are long-lived, be careful where you plant them as they can be difficult to move once they are settled in. To avoid annual pruning, match the mature height of the shrub to the site. To avoid trunk rot, dig a hole three times as wide and the same depth as the root ball. If planting in pots or containers, use a moisture control potting mix, which can hold more water than ordinary potting soils and is perfect for drought-sensitive plants and water conservation.

3 Provide Nutrients

Don't fertilize right away. Try waiting at least two to three weeks before applying a slow-release fertilizer that will give your plants a boost and provide essential nutrients for steady growth. To conserve moisture and keep weeds at bay, add in one or two inches of mulch as well.

4 Water Well

In the first few weeks newly planted shrubs and perennials require daily watering to thrive. Keep soil moist to one inch below the surface. Since shrubs require a lot of water during their first growing season, consider installing an irrigation system at planting time. There is a wide selection of products available at The Home Depot that will let you customize an irrigation solution that is perfectly designed for your yard.

5 Prune to Promote Growth

Since perennials typically have a short blooming period, deadheading and pruning should regularly maintained; however, be careful not to cut back too many blooms. Monitor their growth a couple of times a week. Also, be sure to prune at the right time. Shrubs have different pruning requirements, as they either flower in spring or fall. Spring-flowering shrubs such as azaleas should be pruned immediately after flowering, whereas fall-flowering shrubs such as bluebeard (Caryopteris) should be pruned late into the cool season.

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