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Maximizing Your Garden's Potential with Perennials

Lockridge is an avid reader who enjoys learning about beautiful garden plants. Among other things, she has worked with a florist.

Perennials can brighten your garden for seasons to come!

Perennials can brighten your garden for seasons to come!

How Planting Perennials Can Save You Money

Smart gardeners are always looking for not only a good deal, but also plants that make a big impact. Since perennials typically live three or more years perennials are a smart option financially, but will also save your investment of time. They are also good candidates for division, meaning your one plant can be segmented and replanted in another location, or given to a friend as a gift.

Maximize your plant potential by learning more about these four popular perennials: blanket flower, butterfly weed, candytuft and geraniums.

Blanket Flower

Are you seeking a heat-tolerant, drought-resistant plant? Then the brightly bloomed blanket flower is a good choice for you. Structured similar to a daisy, these red, yellow, and orange petals make a stunning statement in your garden. Whether you start them from seed or from a seedling, you are sure to brighten your area with dynamic color.

Plant blanket flower in a dry, sunny place; no need to worry about sultry weather, these hardy plants can take it! Varieties typically bloom through the summer and come in sizes from 1–3 feet tall.

Control insects affecting blanket flower with insecticidal soap, according to package instructions. If planted in a shady location, periodically inspect plants for powdery mildew and dispose of affected leaves, just be sure to plant in well-draining soil as these plants are susceptible to root rot.

Blanket flowers bring a colorful splash to your garden.

Blanket flowers bring a colorful splash to your garden.

Butterfly Weed

Butterfly weed is as equally stunning from far away as it is up close. Brightly colored clusters of orange flowers not only look beautiful to humans, but they also attract butterflies (as the name implies). Consider planting butterfly weed en masse to make a dramatic wave of color and greatly impact your yard.

If you intend to place butterfly weed in your garden specifically to attract butterflies, plant some in a sheltered location, such as behind other plants- butterflies don't like to be so exposed. Although this may limit your view of the butterfly weed- and the inevitable butterflies- this will make the area more hospitable for the butterflies.

Propagate plants in the spring by taking a 4-inch cutting from the plant. Strip leaves from the lower portion of the stem, and insert the stem into a mixture of damp sand and peat moss. Set aside in a moist, shaded location until well-rooted, then plant in the garden in a sunny location.

As the name implies, Butterfly weed attracts butterflies and other winged insects to your yard.

As the name implies, Butterfly weed attracts butterflies and other winged insects to your yard.

Candytuft

Candytuft is a semi-evergreen, ground-covering plant that prefers sun to partial shade. It features glossy green leaves and white cotton candy-like white flowers and grows up to 12 inches tall. Consider placing candytuft in front of tall blooming plants, along edging or sidewalks, or in the crevices of stone walls as an accent.

Depending on your climate, candytuft normally blooms in the spring and sometimes later in the summer of fall.Trim plants generously after it finishes blooming to encourage a second blooming. Regularly inspect plants for powdery mildew and pick off offenders.

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Read More From Dengarden

Use candytuft as a ground cover in your garden.

Use candytuft as a ground cover in your garden.

Geraniums

Geraniums are among one of the most versatile perennials around. Not only do geraniums come in a variety of colors and bush types, but they also vary greatly in sizes. Smaller varieties grow just a few inches tall, whereas other varieties can grow up to 4–5 feet tall. With such vast options, you are likely to find a variety of geranium that will work perfectly in your particular garden.

Plant geraniums in a sunny location, preferably where they will receive six to seven hours of light a day. Provide generous space between your geraniums, at least 12 inches apart- larger varieties may need to be spaced farther away from each other. Water frequently, allowing the soil to dry out before watering again. Fertilize monthly.

Regularly inspect the plant throughout the growing season, paying close attention to deadheading spent blooms and removing dried leaves.

Consider winterizing geraniums indoors in potted containers, then return the plants to the garden in the spring.

Geraniums make great potted plants as well as a great addition to your garden.

Geraniums make great potted plants as well as a great addition to your garden.

No matter which type of perennial you end up placing in your garden, you are sure to be satisfied the next year when your garden blooms to life with minimal effort from you.

Resources

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Comments

Diane Lockridge (author) from Atlanta, GA on May 24, 2019:

Thanks for the comments. Although I tend to gear articles towards living in the southern USA, I always enjoy reading comments from gardeners in other areas of the world!

Liz Westwood from UK on May 14, 2019:

In the UK I have come across geraniums a lot, but the other plants are unfamiliar to me. As I don't have a lot of time to garden, this article is very useful for me. Plants that last a while suit me best. Great photos too.

RTalloni on May 13, 2019:

I think my neighbor just gave me a nice bunch of blanket flower plants. Going to have to study them a bit. Thanks for a look at these perennials.

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