Advantages of Perennials
Perennials have long been one of the most popular classifications of flowering plants. There are many advantages to using perennials in the garden, not the least of which is their ability to regenerate year after year. The ability to plant once, and enjoy season after season of beautiful flowers, is one of the things that make perennials so popular with beginner and experienced gardeners alike.
Another great thing about perennials is that they are usually very easy plants to care for and to work with. Most perennials have needs that are quite undemanding, requiring little more than good soil, sufficient water and adequate sunlight. Even so, perennials also have their own issues, and one of the biggest issues is that perennials, due to their nature, are more prone to insect infestation and disease infection than are annuals, which have a much shorter life span. The very fact that perennials remain in the ground season after season means that infection can gain a foothold, even in the off season.
The best way to combat infection is to stop it from starting in the first place, and one of the best ways to accomplish that is to buy only the healthiest most vibrant plants. It is important to pay careful attention to the plants you buy at your local nursery, and to reject any that show signs of damage, disease or insect infestation. That is because healthy plants are better able to withstand any pathogens that may exist in the soil. A healthy plant will be able to withstand and fight off an infection that would kill a weaker one.
In addition, many perennials have been bred to be resistant to common diseases and pest infestations, so if these disease resistant varieties are available it is a good idea to seek them out. Perennial growers have spent many years using selective breeding to choose those plants that are best able to withstand commonly seen garden problems.
After the plants are in the ground, it is a good idea to check them often for any signs of problems. The best time to examine your plants is when you are weeding the plants or watering them. This is a great time to look at the plants for any problems. Note any plants with wilted leaves, holes in the leaves, spots on the leaves or flowers, wounds on the stems or other possible problems. If you notice any problems, be sure to diagnose it accurately, using either a guide book or the eye of a more experienced gardener. Diagnosing the problem accurately is the first step toward curing it.
How you water perennials can have a big impact on their health. Overhead watering encourages water spots to remain on leaves, and these wet spots can be conduits that allow infection to spread from one plant to another. It is best to water deeply, using either drip irrigation or a soaker hose. Not only will this avoid standing water on the flowers and leaves, but it will also allow much needed water to reach the roots.
Of course, proper care for perennials does not end when the growing season is over. It is important to care for these plants the right way after they have finished blooming. How much trimming and pruning is dependent on the variety of the perennial plants. Some perennials need to be radically trimmed back, while other varieties should be trimmed only lightly or not at all. It is important to pay attention to the needs of each variety in your garden.
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