How to Feed Perennial Flowers


Few things in life are as perennial as time, unless of course we are talking about flowers. For a dependable garden that returns with vigor each spring, perennial flower beds are the answer. A well-planned bed comes to life in early spring and creates a fireworks display of color until fall. Keeping the perennial flower bed in shape requires an investment of time, but the return on your efforts increases each year with bigger and brighter blooms. Providing vital nutrients at the right time is key to a successful perennial flower bed.

Step 1

Remove any protective mulch from perennials in the spring as soon as new growth appears. Clean the area and remove old vegetation or garden debris.

Step 2

Sprinkle 5-10-5 fertilizer on top of the soil in a ring around the base of individual plants. Allow 4 to 6 inches between the stem and the circle of fertilizer.

Step 3

Work the fertilizer into the top 2 to 4 inches of soil with a hand trowel. Use care not to disturb young roots or get fertilizer on emerging shoots.

Step 4

Water thoroughly to moisten the soil to the root level. Fertilizer dissolves slowly with each rain.

Step 5

Repeat the process at six weeks and 12 weeks.

Things You'll Need

  • 5-10-5 fertilizer
  • Hand trowel
  • Water-soluble foliar feeder (optional)


  • Virginia Cooperative Extension: Perennials

Who Can Help

  • Purdue University Extension: Growing Perennial Flowers
Keywords: fertilize perennials, perennial fertilizer, feed perennials

About this Author

Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with 4 years experience in online writing and a lifetime of personal journals. She is published on various sites, including Associated Content. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.