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See below for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about planting and caring for perennials.


When should perennials be planted?

Bare root perennials may be planted in either spring or fall. When your new plants arrive, open the box and keep the plants cool. Try to get them into the ground within a week or two.


How often should I water?

During their first summer, perennials appreciate getting an inch of water per week – from you or from natural rainfall. It’s better to water deeply and less often, than to water shallowly every few days. This will encourage the roots to grow downward in search of water, which helps the plant prepare for being self-sufficient.

I planted a peony last fall. Why didn’t it flower this spring?

Peonies are long-lived and once they get established, they will flower for generations. A new peony usually needs at least two seasons of growth before it will produce flowers. It’s also important for peonies to be planted at the proper depth. The top of the root (where the buds are located) should be no more than 1½” below the soil surface. If peonies are planted too deeply, they will produce foliage, but few flowers. Mulching around the plant is generally a good idea, but apply a thin layer and don't allow it to build up over time. Learn More Here: All About Peonies

Should perennials be fertilized?

This depends on the fertility of your soil. If you do add fertilizer at planting time, follow the package directions. While they're young, new perennials can be given a liquid fertilizer about once a month, starting in early summer. Once they are established, most perennials don’t need to be fertilized. Spreading an inch or two of compost on the soil surface, in either spring or fall, will help keep them healthy and vigorous.


Should I mulch my perennials to protect them over the winter?

Plants that are hardy in your growing zone will survive the winter without special protection. Where winters are severe and snow cover is unpredictable, you can cover the soil surface with several inches of bark mulch, pine boughs, straw or dry leaves. To avoid smothering the plant or causing rot, mulch only after the ground has frozen and be sure to remove the mulch in very early spring.


The plants I purchased months ago are still in the plastic bags. What should I do?

Bare root perennials should be planted as soon as they arrive in the spring. Open the packages and see if the roots are still firm and moist. If so, you can try planting them, though they may not be strong enough to survive. If the roots are mushy or very dry, the plants are dead and can be discarded.