How to Grow Perennial Flowers


Unlike annuals, perennial flowers return year after year. This makes them more cost effective and requires less labor, since you don't need to purchase and replant each year. Many perennials only bloom for a short period of time, though their foliage may add interest to the landscape for months. Because of this, annual flowers are often interspersed with the perennials to add more blooms to the garden. You can also choose perennials with different flowering times to extend the bloom without the need for yearly planting.

Step 1

Prepare a well-drained garden bed in full sun for most perennial flower types. Check the plant label or seed package for exact needs of the flowers you are planting.

Step 2

Amend the soil in spring right before planting. Lay 2 inches of compost on top the bed and till it in with a hoe or power tiller. Add 2 lbs. of general fertilizer per 100 square feet of bed.

Step 3

Sow perennial seeds in early spring, following the spacing and depth requirements on the package. Cover the seeds with vermiculite instead of garden soil, as the young seedling can push through this easier once they begin growing.

Step 4

Plant purchased seedlings in spring to the same depth they are at in their nursery containers. Follow the spacing requirements on the plant tag to ensure they aren't overcrowded.

Step 5

Lay a 3-inch layer of shredded bark mulch to the bed and around the plants. This preserves soil moisture and prevents weeds.

Step 6

Provide enough water to keep the soil moist but not soggy. Most perennial flowers require 1 to 2 inches of water a week, including natural rainfall.

Tips and Warnings

  • Overcrowding in perennial beds leads to disease. Thin and divide beds every three to five years if plants become crowded.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Fertilizer
  • Hoe
  • Power tiller
  • Seeds
  • Transplants
  • Mulch


  • Purdue Extension Office
Keywords: grow perennial flowers, starting a garden, planting flowers

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.