Perennials form the backbone of the home landscape, offering flowers and ornamental additions to the garden. Perennials tend to require less care than their annual cousins. Growing annuals from seeds has been the mainstay for the home gardeners for many years, and recent trends have led many garden enthusiasts to try seeding and growing perennials. Growing plants from seed requires making good choices for plants that can be started in the home environment. You'll save money and extend the growing season by starting perennial seeds indoors in preparation for spring planting.
Some gardeners mistake lantana for verbena due to the resemblance of the flowers. Lantana offers the gardener an easy to grow perennial with lovely pink, yellow and red variegated flowers clustered among vibrant green leaves. Plant this beautiful perennial loosely into the peat soil mixture. Seed germination occurs between 42 to 60 days and can be increased by soaking seeds in warm water for 24 hours. Lantana is a poisonous plant to wildlife and domestic animals so care should be used in choosing this plant for your perennial garden.
Landscapers across the country have embraced the ornamental grass rage. Grasses function as both low ground cover and towering, stately masses that add dramatic appeal to the home landscape. Blue fescue provides the gardener an easy choice for planting a lovely, blue-hued grass from seed. Blue fescue likes full sun and well-drained soil. This lovely perennial features grayish, blue foliage throughout the growing months of the year. Seeds can be sown inside the home six to 10 weeks before the planting season or planted directly in the garden after the danger of frost passes.
Purple coneflower blooms in later summer and early fall, adding late season color to tired gardens. This beautiful perennial features a knob-like center surrounded by daisy-like petals that fold toward the plant stem. Coneflower prefers full sun and drier soil. This perennial thrives in adverse conditions and often appears in wildflower packages. Plant coneflower seeds directly into the garden and cover with 1/4 inch of soil. Birds and butterflies love coneflower and this perennial can easily be used in arrangements as cut flowers.
Phlox is a versatile perennial often used as ground cover with different cultivars that reach 4 feet in height. Phlox makes a beautiful addition to any garden with the incredible range of flower colors available. The traditional kind of ground cover phlox can frequently be seen trailing over retaining wall and in rock gardens. Phlox can be planted directly in the garden after the last frost. Seeds can also be sown indoors six to eight weeks before the growing season begins. Phlox is an easy-to-grow, standard perennial seen in many cottage-style gardens.
Sweet William is a part of the dianthus family, offering compact red, white and pink flower that give off a light, sweet fragrance. This tough perennial likes full sun and well-drained soil. Sweet William prefers cooler temperatures and will produce blooms that last for three or more weeks. Start seeds indoors 10 to 12 weeks before the planting season. Move seedlings to the garden after all danger of frost has passed. Sweet William is a great choice for a perennial garden since the plant self-seeds prolifically.