With the generic term Perennials we mean those herbaceous plants that have a multi-year development, therefore they remain in our garden for years, contrary to what happens to annuals, which instead with the winter cold tend to dry out completely. Being herbaceous plants they do not form a woody shrub, and therefore the aerial part often does not survive at low temperatures; however, from the root system we will get new plants every year.
In order to survive year after year most of the perennial herbaceous plants develop bulbs, tubers, rhizomes, or other type of root system that can store sufficient nutrients to develop a new plant at the arrival of spring; some flourish from the first year in which they are planted, others take a few years to stabilize at best and be able to bloom; some can be grown for years, others have short lives and are "rejuvenated" from year to year, using cuttings or plants obtained from seeds.
Unlike annuals and biennials, perennial herbaceous plants are characterized by vegetative structures capable of surviving for at least three years. During the cold season, most of them lose the aerial part and are therefore invisible. Let's not forget, however, that there are also evergreen grasses that manage to keep the foliage even in the most rigid climates and can be of great help in making our green space more alive.
How perennials are grown
There are many species of perennials, but we can identify some useful tips for growing them all.
Before planting a perennial we should remember that this plant will stay in our garden for a long time, therefore let's place it in a place where it can develop undisturbed over time; many perennials tend over time to be ground cover plants, so we also remember that if we do not want them to develop excessively every year we will have to contain their development, eradicating the ruined or smaller or diseased plants.
When we have chosen the location for the plant, we work the soil in the best possible way, mixing the soil with leaves and sand to increase drainage; we enrich the substrate with mature organic fertilizer, which in addition to providing a good supply of mineral salts over time, will also help us improve the soil mix; while turning the clods we eliminate all the weeds possibly present.
We always remember that knowing our plants helps us to cultivate them in the best way, so before buying perennials for our garden let us know which ones are more suitable for the flowerbed we have chosen, then let's put the plants that love light in the sun, and in the shade the ferns or other similar plants; avoiding gross errors from the start will help us during cultivation.
In addition to lighting, let us also inquire about the humidity appreciated by the plants we have chosen; if we don't have an irrigation system and live in Sicily we avoid plants that need a lot of water; if instead we live in Trentino we avoid plants of Mediterranean origin or those that fear frost.
After having chosen the most suitable perennials let's place them at home, keeping at least 15-20 cm of free space between one plant and another; young plants recently planted will need frequent watering, but let's suspend them if the climate is rainy, let's intensify them during the dry periods.
Over the years our plants will tend to stabilize, and only need watering during the summer months or during particular periods of drought. To keep the soil moist and free of weeds, it is advisable to mulch it between the plants, using bark, lapillus, dry leaves; the material placed on the ground will keep it cooler in summer and less cold in winter, also guaranteeing the humidity necessary for plants during dry periods.