Find answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about perennial plants below:
What are perennials?
Any plant that lives for more than two years is a perennial – the name comes from the Latin for ‘through the years’. When we refer to perennials, we mean all the longer-lived flower and foliage plants excluding shrubs and trees. Perennials can be deciduous or evergreen, flowering or foliage plants, and they may be hardy or tender. To help you get the perfect perennial pairings, browse our perennial collections.
When to plant perennials
The majority of our perennials are ready to order when the plants are in their dormant phase – usually the autumn or early spring. The plants you receive are inactive – they may even look dead when you receive them, but don’t worry, they’re fine. Just plant them according to the instructions supplied and you’ll be set to enjoy a wonderful display through the summer months.
How to care for perennials
Keep on top of watering, especially during the first year when your perennials are establishing. Other than that, these plants are low maintenance. Once they’ve finished flowering, you may wish to cut them back. The autumn is often the best time to do this but avoid going too hard as dead stems and foliage can help to insulate roots from the winter cold. You may also consider delaying tidying up until spring because not only do seed heads and leaves lend your garden much-needed winter colour and texture, they’re also a useful source of food and shelter for birds and mammals.
For more information on growing perennials, you’ll find lots or articles in our Growing Guides section. Start with our Perennial Plants Flowering Times Guide, which displays popular perennials and their flowering times in a month-by-month calendar view.