Planting a Perennial Garden

Plant perennials for blooms that come back year after year with little maintenance.

A Beautiful Garden Made Easy

Perennials encompass a wide variety of hardy, beautiful, and visually unique plants. Dependable when it comes to planting and transplanting, they're a perfect choice if you're new to gardening or are simply looking for a landscape with year-round appeal. Learn how to create a garden with flowers that come back every year with the tips below.

Select Your Perennial Garden Plants

Choose flowers with a reputation for being sturdy and dependable. Coneflowers, astilbes, coreopsis, creeping phlox, veronica, and black-eyed Susans are beautiful perennial flowers you can count on. Select a mix of tall and short plants. Plant tall ones in the back and short ones in front and along the sides of your garden bed.

Decide Where to Plant

Most people put their perennial gardens against a backdrop like fences and garden walls. Try to pick a spot that provides at least 6 hours a day of sunlight for your sun-loving plants. If your area is shadier, plant shade-lovers, such as hostas and bleeding hearts.

Get Your Soil Ready

Many perennial garden plants need soil with good drainage. Where your soil stays wet, plant cardinal flowers and other dampness-loving varieties. Enrich your soil with organic materials like compost or amend with Miracle-Gro® Garden Soil for Flowers & Vegetables.

Get Planting

Perennials are tough plants. They're less fussy about when you plant them or move them. Most perennials can be planted any time from the last winter frost through autumn. When planting or transplanting, dig a hole that's twice as wide and no deeper than the container, then backfill the hole with soil. Make watering easier by grouping plants with similar water requirements together.

Perennial bulbs should be planted based on when they bloom. If you're looking ahead to springtime varieties, then be sure to put them in the ground in early fall. For perennial bulbs that bloom in summer, aim to plant them in early spring, once all chances of frost have passed. Always refer to the plant tag to get the proper planting depth and spacing.

For more information on planting spring bulbs, including when to plant according to your hardiness zone, check out this helpful article. 

Water and Feed Your Perennials

Young perennial plants may be hardy, but they still need plenty of water and nutrients to get established in the soil. You can easily water and feed at the same time with Miracle-Gro® Liquafeed®. When watering, avoid perennials' leaves to prevent disease, and aim for a soil consistency that is neither too wet nor too dry.

Care for Your Perennials

Deadhead your flowers by removing spent or misshapen blooms. This will encourage more flowers to grow. After your plants have matured, apply a pre-emergent weed preventer, such as Miracle-Gro® Garden Weed Preventer®, throughout your garden bed to help prevent weeds. Make sure to only apply the weed preventer near plants listed on the product label. Then, spread 3 inches of mulch around the plants, which will also help prevent weeds by blocking access to sunlight and keep soil moist. When your mature perennials are not in bloom, you can divide them and create starter plants to plant elsewhere.