Practical Steps for Caring For Your Perrenial Garden

Team McFly Oct 24, 2023
2 People Read
spring flowers
Table of Contents
  1. Everything You Need to Know About Caring for Perennials
    1. Spring Preparing
    2. Cleanup
    3. Watering
    4. Weeding
    5. Mulching
    6. Staking
    7. Recent Related Articles:

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.  

Everything You Need to Know About Caring for Perennials

Caring for perennials is an important task you must do if you want to keep your garden looking beautiful all season long. Caring for these plants involves various tasks, including Mulching, weeding, pruning, watering, and staking. This article will show you how to do all these things to ensure your gardens are always well taken care of.

woman spring gardening

Spring Preparing

Perennials are plants that grow every year, and they offer a great deal of interest and protection for your garden. However, perennials can also be prone to failure. Fortunately, there are several ways to keep them healthy and happy.

First, remember to fertilize. Most perennials have shallow roots right underneath the surface of the soil. This means that they need extra water to survive. Simple hose irrigation can do the trick if the ground is dry.

You can also prepare your perennials for spring by planting new flowers and bulbs. Many plants can be started indoors in the winter and transplanted into the spring garden.

Another way to prepare your garden for spring is to clean up your borders. When you do this, you are also creating more space for new plants. For example, you may plant a new vegetable garden.

Spring is also a good time to plant hardy vegetables. Potatoes, onions, and artichokes are all suitable. In addition, a large vegetable garden can benefit from an all-purpose, high-middle-number fertilizer.

To ensure that your perennials are healthy, you can divide them in the spring. Dividing perennials is a low-cost way to propagate a larger collection. By splitting the clumps, you are ensuring that each one has a chance to thrive. The new plants you replant will be healthier and more likely to bloom in the first year.


If growing perennials in your garden, you must ensure that you clean up your garden after each season. This can help you to avoid disease and fungus, and it can also help you keep your plants looking fresh and colorful.

The fall is the time to clean up your perennials. Some of the best times to do this are after a hard freeze has passed or after several hard touches of frost have killed the back tops of the plants. Taking care of your garden in the fall can also help you to reduce the amount of unwanted reseeding that will take place in the future growing seasons.

Perennials, especially aggressive self-seeders, benefit from a late-season cleanup. However, leaving leaves and stems in the beds increases the fungus and insect pests risk.

To add to the protection, consider adding a layer of mulch. Bark or wood chips can be used as mulch. They will keep the soil from leaching away, and they will also discourage weeds from popping up.

Depending on the type of plants you have, you may want to split or divide your perennials. Doing so is an ideal way to make room for additional plants. After splitting, you can plant new perennials to fill the gaps.

Fall is also a great time to fertilize your perennials. A little fertilizer can help them to survive without burning up the foliage. It is important to apply it around the plants, not directly on the top of clumps.


Watering perennials is vital to ensure healthy growth and blooms. The watering best for a particular plant will depend on various factors, such as soil type, weather, and time of year. Perennials should be watered in the early morning and midday for best results.

When planting, add a water-soluble fertilizer to help ensure healthy growth. Organic fertilizers such as fish emulsion and wood ash are also great choices. Using these fertilizers will encourage new blooms and healthy foliage.

watering garden

Watering is important for all plants, but some types require more water than others. A good rule of thumb is to allow one month for a perennial, two months for a shrub, and three months for a tree.

If you live in a drought-prone area, you may need more water than usual. However, watering too often or too long can cause disease and weaken plants. To avoid this, use distilled water instead of tap water.

Avoid overhead sprinklers, and make sure to check your soil moisture frequently. A soil moisture reader can help determine if your plants need watering.

During the spring and summer, perennials should be watered once or twice a week. Watering once a month should be adequate for the rest of the year. Some herbaceous perennials do not need supplemental irrigation during the winter.

man and boy weeding


Weeding for perennials can be a challenge. Many perennial weeds re-grow their stems and leave each year from the same root system. These weeds require more time and commitment to control than annual weeds.

Identifying the type of weed you are dealing with is a critical step in weed management. Some weeds are native to your area, while others are introduced. If you know the species you are dealing with, you can more easily determine if you need to use chemicals.

You will need a site evaluation, weed identification, and soil preparation. Then you can begin a weed management program. An integrated weed management program should include hand weeding, sanitation, and herbicides.

Herbaceous perennials should be treated with a grass-selective herbicide to kill weeds in their herbaceous beds. You can also add nutrients to your soil and mulch to help keep weeds at bay.

Perennial weeds normally grow deep taproots. Their roots store carbohydrates. During the spring, weeds rely on stored reserves. However, as the weather cools, their carbohydrate flow stops. Therefore, they will pull out most easily in early spring. In fall, many weeds will hold green leaves, allowing more photosynthesis.

Some weeds are allelopathic, meaning they inhibit other plants' growth. A few types are toxic. There are also a few weeds that are important for pollinating insects.

Depending on the weed you are dealing with, you may want to consider solarisation or solarization with a polyethylene sheet. For some species, hot water is effective. See our article on trending common lawn weeds.


Mulching is an important part of a successful garden. It not only protects your plants from frost damage, but it also moderates soil temperature and helps to retain moisture. While Mulching does not have to be a priority for most plants, there are some instances when it is essential.

It would help if you also considered applying mulch around newly planted perennials. This helps them develop a better root system as well as suppress weeds.

mulching garden

A good time to apply mulch is early in the year before your plants have grown too much. It should be no more than an inch or two deep around the plant's crown. Then, when the cold weather is over, remove the mulch to allow your plants to breathe and get some air.

One of the best things about mulch is that it prevents the soil from splashing. In addition, it adds beauty to your landscape. Another advantage is that it keeps your tree trunks from being damaged by lawn equipment.

Mulching your perennials in the spring or fall will help your plant retain moisture. The right mulch will also keep your plants healthy and reduce the likelihood of disease. In addition, some types of organic mulch will improve the quality of your soil.

To mulch your perennials efficiently, consider using a wheelbarrow. It can transport large amounts of material, and it will help you spread the mulch evenly.


Staking is a great way to protect your plants from heavy rains and high winds. It can also help prevent broken stems and trampled blooms. However, proper staking can take some trial and error.

The best time to stake perennials is before they reach their full height. This will give them a chance to grow more fully and neatly.

Stakes should be placed a few inches from the plant's base. Depending on the size of the clump, you may need to stake more than one per plant. To properly anchor the stakes, drive them into the soil.

Stakes can be made out of a variety of materials. Twine is a good choice; you can attach it to the plant with string or padded wire. You can also tangle it around the stake to provide additional support.

A simple way to stake a perennial is to put a piece of string or twine around the plant's base. Make sure the string is loose enough to provide adequate support but not too loose. Using too tight a string will snag the stem and damage it.

You can use multiple plant stakes if you need to stake a tall perennial, such as a tall bush. They can keep the taller plants from flopping over while providing support for the smaller ones.

You can use dormant twigs, branches, or canes to make your supports. You can also create custom supports using natural materials, such as bamboo or reclaimed wood.

Recent Related Articles:

The 15 Most Eye-Catching Shrubs for Your Yard

How to Stop Deer from Eating Your Hosta

Table of Contents
  1. Everything You Need to Know About Caring for Perennials
    1. Spring Preparing
    2. Cleanup
    3. Watering
    4. Weeding
    5. Mulching
    6. Staking
    7. Recent Related Articles:

Disclosure:  Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which can provide compensation to me at no cost to you if you decide to purchase. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.