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How to Care for Perennial Garden Flowers

Updated on September 15, 2017
Jan Saints profile image

Januaris is a miniature garden designer and author of landscaping guides. He loves to write about garden flowers, ponds, lawn, and hedges.

According to my own experience, perennial flowers need top-notch care for them to grow properly and add maximum aesthetic value to a property. Some of these plants are quite sensitive to changes in weather conditions, and can wither and die in a short period of time under harsh conditions.

If you are growing perennial flowers and expect a good outcome from them, you need to do more than just watering and weeding your garden. You need to consider doing other things like deadheading, pruning, and controlling pests and diseases.

In this article, I'm going to discuss how to properly care for perennial garden flowers. Read on to see important care practices that you need to apply on your plants.

A Small Garden with Perennial Flowers Surrounded by Annual Flowers
A Small Garden with Perennial Flowers Surrounded by Annual Flowers | Source

In Brief, How to Take Care of Perennial Flowers

1. Water your flowers regularly.

2. Apply appropriate fertilizers.

3. Remove weeds from your flower garden.

4. Mulch your flowers.

5. Provide them with enough sunlight.

6. Prevent and control pests.

7. Prevent and control diseases.

8. Protect your flower plants from animals.

9. Pinch and prune your plants.

10. Thin and cull them.

11. Stake them

12. Deadhead them

13. Use clean tools in your flower garden.

14. Replace the soil.

1. Water Your Flowers Regularly

In the summer season, you need to water your flowers at least once every day. Plants lose a lot of water during this season and they can wither or have stunted growth if they are not well watered. The other seasons are pretty cool and wet, and you can water your perennials twice a week.

When it comes to determining the amount of water to use on your garden, you need to consider the species of the flowers and their water requirements. Other factors that you can consider are the type of soil in your garden and the amount of rainfall in your area.

Note: Excess watering and poor watering methods can cause fungal diseases on plants. So it is recommended to apply the right amount and use safe watering methods like applying water directly on the soil and not on the foliage.

2. Apply Appropriate Fertilizers

Garden soils lose fertility with time, subjecting plants to inadequate nutrients. When you notice signs of low soil fertility in your garden, you need to immediately apply appropriate fertilizers to your flowers.

The best fertilizers for flowers are the water-soluble or liquid ones. Some fertilizers can scorch plants when used incorrectly, for example, when high amounts are used or when applied at the wrong time.To avoid this problem, you need to follow the manufacturer's directions for the fertilizer.

With many water-soluble/liquid fertilizers out there, you may find it difficult to choose the best one for your flowers. But consider yourself lucky you found this article because the fertilizer that your plants need is no other than Dr. Earth Bud and Bloom Booster! I had tried a number of flower fertilizers without success before finding this bloom booster.

So why is it the best fertilizer for these plants? Well, it is packed with a myriad of nutrients that continue to be released several months after application. It contains 7 strains of beneficial soil microbes and 8 strains of ecto and endo mycorrhizae (improves drought resistance).

In addition, it is 100% organic and natural, doesn't contain GMO's, safe for people and pet and comes in a sprayer can - so it is ready to spray and you don't have to look for a sprayer. You can also get the powdery one, mix it with water as recommend and apply with this sprayer. It is available in a number of sizes, so you can always find a size that suits the number of your flowers.

3. Remove Weeds from Your Flower Garden.

Weeds compete for resources with useful plants and can harbor pests and diseases. In order to get the best from your flowers, you need to remove any weed that grows in your garden.

If you are growing flowers in a smaller garden or using pots, you can control weeds by just uprooting them. For a larger garden, you need to use garden tools like hoe and pick, and you can weed after every one week.

4. Mulch Your Flowers

Mulching is mainly done to help soil retain moisture, and is recommended in places with water scarcity. It has other benefits such as controlling weeds and regulating soil temperature. And in case you didn't know, it involves covering soil with natural or synthetic materials.

If you decide to use mulches in your garden, you need to choose the ones that do not spoil the beauty of your perennials. Some recommended mulches include grass, leaves, wood chips, and polythene papers.

Wood Chips Used as Mulch on Flowers
Wood Chips Used as Mulch on Flowers | Source

5. Provide Your Plants with Enough Sunlight.

Sunlight is the source of energy in plants, and so you need to ensure that your flowers are getting enough of it. Some flowers need many hours of sunlight every day while others need just a few hours. So you need to know the light requirements of your perennials in order to provide them with enough light.

One way to ensure that your plants are getting enough sunlight is to establish your garden away from tall buildings or large trees. This is basically to avoid sunlight blockage. If your plants cannot survive long hours of sunlight, you can place a barrier somewhere around your garden to block sunlight during some hours of the day.

6. Prevent and Control Pests

Pests can easily kill flower plants, so it is important to prevent them from attacking your garden. You can prevent some pests by keeping your garden free from weeds and refuse. You can prevent other pests by installing barriers and traps. Some pests that you should be aware of include bugs, mites, aphids, whiteflies, and gnats.

If your plants are accidentally attacked by pests, you need to use appropriate pesticides to kill the harmful organisms. You can also eradicate the highly affected plants to control the spread of pests.

When looking for a good pesticide, you should be very careful because most of the pesticides in the market are fake. I usually use the Bayer Advanced Dual Action Pest Killer which can eradicate a large number of harmful insects in my garden. Pests were a major problem in my flower garden until I discovered this pesticide. I would recommend that you get it if you have the pest menace in your garden!

Even when the plants are heavily affected, this pesticide effectively kills the harmful organisms, reviving your flowers and keeping your garden free from pests. It is rainproof and can be used to protect indoor plants. It controls aphids, leaf miners, Japanese beetles, white flies, rose midge, and others. It comes in a sprayer can and is ready to use.

7. Prevent and Control Diseases

Like pests, diseases are quite harmful to flowers. Most plant diseases are caused by fungi, bacteria, and viruses. Some diseases that you be aware of include anthracnose, bacterial leaf spot, ovulinia petal blight, and white rust.

You can prevent fungal diseases by avoiding excessive use of water in your garden. On the other hand, you can prevent bacterial and viral diseases by using clean weeding and pruning tools.

If your plants get infected with a disease, you need to use appropriate chemicals to kill the disease-causing microorganisms. You should look for the best fungicide, bactericide or virucide depending on the cause of the disease.

8. Protect Your Flower Plants from Animals

Some animals, like the herbivores, can destroy flower gardens by feeding on the foliage. Other animals like dogs and cats can also be destructive on garden plants.

The best way to protect your garden from animals is to install a barrier. You can use a barrier like a wire fence which provides maximum protection and still keeps the garden visible.

9. Pinch and Prune Your Plants

In the world of plant care, pinching is the process of removing stem tips to encourage lateral growth and promote good shape. It is recommended to pinch back your plants to increase branching and promote the formation of more flowers.

On the other hand, pruning is the process of cutting back the overgrown branches to control the growth of plants. If some of your perennials have branches growing waywardly, you can cut them back to achieve uniform heights and compact shapes.

10. Thin and Cull Your Plants

Thinning is the process of removing excess plants to create room for the growth of the remaining plants. If your garden lacks enough resources for all the perennials, you can carry out this process.

On the other hand, culling is the process of removing undesirable plants (inferior, weak, infested or diseased) to give more room for the remaining plants or to control pests or diseases. If you have some undesirable plants in your flower garden, you need to remove them to allow the healthy ones grow properly.

11. Stake Your Plants

Staking is done to provide support for plant stems. It involves fixing a stake or rod in the ground and tying a stem on it. It is done on plants with weak stems or where plants are required to grow in a certain direction.

If you have some weak-stemmed flowers in your garden, you can use bamboo sticks or any other light wood to stake them. You need to fix the sticks in the ground and tie the stems on them with threads, a garden tape, or strips of a cloth.

Staked Flowers
Staked Flowers | Source

12. Deadhead Your Perennials

Deadheading is the process of removing old or dead flower heads from a plant to encourage more blooming. According to my own experience, the process can prolong the blooming period. It can also keep the plants looking tidy.

To deadhead your plants, you can use your fingers to remove the old or dead flower heads. If your plants have many heads to remove, you can use a shearing tool to remove them in a short time.

13. Use Clean Tools in Your Flower Garden

Garden tools can spread diseases, so you need to ensure that your weeding and pruning tools are always free from disease-causing microorganisms. It is recommended to clean and disinfect them before and after use.

When it comes to disinfecting your tools, you need first to look for a good disinfectant like chlorine bleach, trisodium phosphates, or isopropyl alcohol. With the disinfectant, you can just wash the tools with the chemical. You can also dip the tools in the chemical for at least five minutes. You may have to use a large container and more disinfectant if you decide to disinfect your tools through dipping.

14. Replace the Soil

Soils lose their physical properties with time, lowering their capacity to sustain plant growth. If your garden or potting soil cannot sustain your perennials due to the degradation of its physical properties, you need to replace it.

You can get new soil from your local garden center. You can also use soil from another place in your home or business premise, but you need to fumigate it to kill any pests and diseases.

Conclusion

As you can see, it is a good bit of work to care for perennial garden flowers, but the care practices can really revamp your garden. If you are growing these flowers, you can make use of this guide to maintain a beautiful garden and improve the aesthetic value of your property.

References

  • Henry D. "How to Grow Flowers the Organic Way.". gardenorganic.org.uk. Flower Gardening. Garden Organic. Henry Doubleday Research Association. (2010).
  • Scott E. "Getting Started in the Production of Field-Grown, Specialty Cut Flowers.". (PDF). hort.vt.edu. Virginia Tech. (2006).
  • Huyser-Honig J. "Quick Cut Flowers.". garden.org. National Gardening Association. (2008).
  • Jeannette K., Brown D. "Indoor Plants: Care and Management.". articles.extension.org. eXtension. (2008).
  • Sandborn D. "Plan Now For a Beautiful Flower Cutting Garden.". msue.anr.msu.edu. Flower Gardening. Michigan State University. (2017).

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© 2015 Januaris Saint Fores

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    • Jan Saints profile image
      Author

      Januaris Saint Fores 2 years ago from the Midwest

      Thanks Rebeccamealey for your comment.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Great Hub! You covered it all. I have been better at flowers and herbs this year than veggies. I shall remember this great guide.

    • Jan Saints profile image
      Author

      Januaris Saint Fores 2 years ago from the Midwest

      Yes, and any other young plant. Thanks Thumbi7 for the comment.

    • thumbi7 profile image

      JR Krishna 2 years ago from India

      Mulching works for vegetables as well right?

      Useful information

      Thanks for sharing

    • Jan Saints profile image
      Author

      Januaris Saint Fores 2 years ago from the Midwest

      Thanks Wiccansage,

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 2 years ago

      Good, sound advice for anyone growing flowers.