Gardening | Why planting perennials in the garden is often overlooked

March is the perfect time be planting perennials, dividing clumps and taking cuttings to increase plant numbers. Picture: Shutterstock.
March is the perfect time be planting perennials, dividing clumps and taking cuttings to increase plant numbers. Picture: Shutterstock.

Perennials are plants that persist for several years, unlike their annual counterparts that will only last a season.

They give year in year out joy with predictable flowering and in most cases hassle-free gardening, making them worthy of a position in any garden.

Perennials are adaptive to a range of garden styles, ideal in borders or mixed in as accent plants within tree and shrub plantings and container plantings. From low growing plants ideal for rockeries and borders, to large arching clumps with flower spikes to more than a metre.

The use of perennials in gardens is something that many gardeners often overlook, largely due to the misconception that these plants are often difficult to grow.

There are of course some golden rules that will need to be applied to establish perennials in the garden but after that just enjoy them as each season passes.

As with all plants some maintenance will be required and for most perennials that simply means removing spent flower stems.

Many perennials are just coming into their own as far as flowering is concerned and others are coming to the end of flowering. March is the perfect time for planting perennials, dividing clumps and taking cuttings to increase plant numbers.

Iris, clivea, hemerocallis, alstroemeria and kangaroo paw can be divided safely now, and cuttings can be taken from pelargonium, marguerite daisies, salvia, dianthus and pentstemon to name just a few.

Other perennials beginning their flowering cycle such as Japanese windflower, chrysanthemum and Michaelmas daisy should be divided in spring.

Choosing the correct position for perennials will determine their ultimate success. Some prefer full sun while others perform best in shade.

A little bit of research goes a long way, so check the aspect of the garden bed and the amount of sun it receives before choosing plants.

To give perennials a good start prepare soils by working through well-rotted animal manure and organic matter in the form of compost. Blood and bone is also beneficial.

Perennials come in every colour imaginable and it is not just their flowers that are attractive. Many perennials have fascinating coloured foliage that provides visual appeal right throughout the year.

They can add colour to your garden throughout every season and with careful selection you can always have something in bloom.