Perennials are plants that live for more than two years and are a great investment of money and time for any garden. Luckily, the UK climate is well-suited for perennial gardening, and many beautiful and hardy perennials can thrive in British gardens.
Many perennial plants will do well in a temperate climate, so I thought I would highlight 5 that will do well and share some tips on growing perennial plants.
What is the definition of Perennial?
Perennial plants live for over two years and typically grow and bloom for several seasons. Unlike annual plants, which complete their life cycle in one growing season, perennials continue to grow and bloom year after year. Biennial plants, on the other hand, complete their life cycle over two growing seasons and then die.
Perennial plants can be either herbaceous or woody. Herbaceous perennials die back to the ground each winter and regrow from their roots in the spring, while woody perennials, such as trees and shrubs, maintain their above-ground structure year-round.
One of the great advantages of perennial plants is that they often require less maintenance than annuals, as they do not need to be replanted each year. They also tend to be hardier and more adaptable to varying growing conditions.
5 Perennial Plants for UK Gardens
The UK has a temperate climate, and its hardiness zones run from Zone 6 to 9. The plants listed below will also do well in areas outside the UK with a similar climate.
- Lavender – Lavender is a popular perennial herb well-suited for UK gardens. It has a distinctive scent and produces beautiful purple flowers in the summer. Lavender prefers well-draining soil and full sun, and it should be planted in a location with good air circulation. It is also drought-tolerant and relatively low-maintenance.
- Shasta Daisy – Shasta Daisy is a classic perennial that produces white and yellow flowers in the summer. It grows to be about 2-3 feet tall and prefers full sun to partial shade. Shasta Daisies can tolerate a range of soil types and are relatively easy to care for.
- Black-Eyed Susan – Black-Eyed Susan is a fast-growing perennial that is often grown as an annual. The climbing plant produces bright flowers with dark centers. It grows to be about 2-3 meters tall and prefers full sun.
- Hosta Hostas are a popular shade-loving perennial that produces attractive foliage in various colours and patterns. They prefer moist, well-draining soil. Hostas should be planted in a partial to full shade location and protected from direct sunlight.
- Coneflower – Coneflowers are beautiful and hardy perennials that produce pink or purple flowers in the summer. They prefer full sun to partial shade. Coneflowers are relatively drought-tolerant and can tolerate a range of soil types.
These five perennial plants are well-suited for UK gardens and can provide a range of colours and textures throughout the growing season. When planting these perennials, be sure to consider their sun and soil preferences and ideal planting locations to ensure their success in your garden.
What is the Best Time of the Year to Plant Perennials?
The ideal planting time for perennials can vary depending on the specific plant and the climate in your area. Spring and autumn are the best times to plant most perennials.
Spring is a great time to plant perennials. The soil is warming up, and plants are coming out of dormancy. This allows them to establish their roots before the heat of summer arrives. Generally, it is best to plant spring-blooming perennials in the autumn and autumn-blooming perennials in the spring. This allows them to establish themselves before their respective blooming seasons.
It’s important to note that while spring and autumn are generally the best times to plant perennials, you can also plant them in the summer. However, it is best to avoid planting during hot and dry periods and ensure the plants receive plenty of water during the establishment period.
How to Care for Perennial Plants
Perennial plants can provide years of enjoyment in your garden with proper care and maintenance. Here are some general care tips for perennial plants:
- Watering – Perennial plants prefer evenly moist soil but can be sensitive to overwatering. Water them deeply, but avoid letting the soil become waterlogged. A good rule of thumb is to water your perennials when the top inch of soil is dry.
- Fertilising – Perennial plants benefit from regular fertilisation to support their growth and blooming. Use a balanced fertilizer in the spring and summer, and reduce or stop fertilisation in the autumn to avoid stimulating new growth before the winter.
- Pruning – Regular pruning can help keep your perennials healthy and looking their best. Deadheading or removing spent flowers can encourage more blooms and prevent the plant from putting energy into producing seeds. Pruning back the plant in the fall can help prepare it for winter and promote healthy growth in the spring.
Here are specific care tips for the five perennial plants mentioned earlier:
- Lavender – Lavender prefers well-draining soil and full sun. Water it deeply but infrequently, and avoid overhead watering to prevent fungal diseases. Prune back the plant in the spring to promote bushier growth and remove any dead wood.
- Shasta Daisy – Shasta Daisies can tolerate a range of soil types and prefer full sun to partial shade. Water them deeply when the soil becomes dry, and deadhead the spent flowers to encourage more blooms. Cut back the plant to a few inches above the ground in the autumn.
- Black-Eyed Susan – Black-Eyed Susan is drought-tolerant and can tolerate a range of soil types. Water it deeply during dry periods, and deadhead the spent flowers to encourage more blooms. Cut back the plant to a few inches above the ground in the autumn.
- Hosta – Hostas prefer moist, well-draining soil and partial to full shade. Water them regularly to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged, and fertilise them in the spring and summer. In the autumn, cut back the dead leaves and mulch around the base of the plant to protect it from the cold.
- Coneflower – Coneflowers prefer full sun to partial shade and can tolerate a range of soil types. Water them deeply during dry periods, and deadhead the spent flowers to encourage more blooms. Cut back the plant to a few inches above the ground in the autumn.
One Comment Add yours
It is amusing to think of black eyed Susan and Shasta daisy as popular there. I can understand why they would be, but they both seem to be so American. I expect to be driving by Mount Shasta within two weeks or so.