Pick perennials with care

Three important factors to consider when purchasing and planting them

Plants that grow and bloom over the spring and summer, become dormant over the winter and then return in spring from their established roots, are known as perennials. These plants are often regarded as the easiest and most economical and way to maintain a garden you can enjoy year after year. However, the initial outlay for perennials can be somewhat pricier than annuals or biennials, so it’s important to choose your plants carefully.

Here are three things to keep mind:

Know your plant hardiness zone. Canada is divided into roughly nine different planting hardiness zones, ranging from coldest to warmest. An Internet search to Agriculture Canada’s Plant Hardiness Zones Map will help you to identify your particular plant hardiness zone.

Know your soil. Most nursery-bought plants will label the ideal soil conditions for optimal growth. Some require well-drained soil to circumvent overwatering. Others require heavier soils to retain moisture. In addition, there are often considerations for acidity of the soil for particular plants, and it may be recommended that you add the appropriate organic material to augment it. Consider purchasing a soil testing kit to start and ask your local garden centre for further guidance.

Know your sun exposure. Consider the level of sunlight your plants will receive throughout the day in the location you have chosen. Whether your garden is in full sun, partial sun, shade or full shade, the perennial plants you choose will grow best when they match the level of sun required.



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