Walking through the garden centers this spring, you’ll notice the flowers fall into certain categories like annuals, biennials, and perennials. Before we dive into the benefits of the latter, let’s take a quick moment to talk about the differences between these varieties.
Annuals, like marigolds and impatiens, grow and bloom for a single season and then wilt and wither away. They do not come back in the years following. They are great for adding variety to your garden landscape over the years and for trying your hand at growing different types of flowers.
Biennials, like hollyhocks and foxgloves, live for two growing seasons.
Perennial flowers, like roses and asters, grow back every year. Planting them boasts many benefits for your home garden.
Top Reasons to Favour Perennial Flowers
1. Perennial flowers are a one-time purchase.
The upfront low cost of perennial seeds or seedlings is an investment in the sustainability of your home garden.
With annual flower varieties, you’re put into a perpetual cycle of yearly spending. With perennial flowers, you purchase and plant just once.
Over the course of a few years, you can save hundreds of dollars by planting perennial flowers instead of annuals.
2. Perennial flowers grow stronger root systems.
The benefit of a stronger root system is the ability to adapt to extreme conditions. You see, the roots of perennial flowers continue to grow deeper each year and access underlying water and nutrient reserves not available for weak-rooted annuals.
In hard times, like drought, flooding, or intense wind storms, perennial flowers have a serious adaptation advantage.
3. Perennial flowers require less water and fertilizer.
Since perennial roots can reach nutrient and water reserves well beneath the soil, they are more self-sufficient than annual varieties.
With annuals, the roots are much closer to the soil’s surface. When you water them, they absorb all they can as quickly as they can and the rest is either evaporated in the sun or runs-off as excess. There is no water reserve at this soil level, meaning you need to consistently add a fresh supply.
Additionally, since annuals live just a single season, they grow much more quickly than perennials. During their rapid growth, they absorb the surrounding soil’s nutrients, leaving it depleted and thus requiring added fertilizers.
4. Perennial flowers improve your soil structure.
The deep roots of perennial flowers do more than act as a self-made security system. They provide an underground network that stabilizes your soil and prevents erosion from watering, rain storms, and wind. This means your soil’s vital nutrients are left intact to naturally fertilize your plants.
5. Perennial flowers win the competition with weeds.
All those strong roots leave little space for the invasive species we curse as weeds. Planting perennials in organic mulch is a surefire way keep the weeds under control without having to manually pull them.
6. Perennial flowers require much less work from home gardeners.
With annuals, there’s clearing, digging, and planting each season. With perennial flowers, you can do the work once and expend your energy on upkeep instead of starting from scratch over and over again.
7. Perennial flowers take away the pressure of planning.
With perennial flowers, you plan your garden design once and let nature do the rest.
Over the years, certain perennials, like daisies, will grow into bushy beasts that need to be split. This is the only time you will need to decide where to put new flowers—when the original ones grow too big for your space.
Perennial flowers boast many benefits for your home garden. This year, design your planting around these eco-friendly varieties to save money, improve your soil, reduce your workload, and support your home garden’s sustainability.