Planting Perennials


When planting a perennial the secret to success is to make sure that the soil is well prepared and the roots are firmed in properly. It also helps to cover the surface of the soil with a mulch to cut down on competition from weeds after planting, as well as help retain moisture around the roots of the plant. It is important to avoid getting mulch on the plant though because it can scorch the foliage and encourage rotting. Additionally, one should watch out for slugs and snails which find the moist warmth offered by the mulch irresistible.

When to Plant Perennials

Although container-grown hardy perennials can be planted at any time of the year when the soil is not frozen or waterlogged, they are best when planted in the spring. If you are choosing to plant in the summer, make sure the plants are kept well watered during the warm weather.

How to Plant Perennials

  1. The first step is to dig a hole at least twice as wide and slightly deeper than the perennial’s container. Mix the soil you’ve removed with well-rotted organic matter and leave to one side.
  2. Because almost all perennials need to be planted at the same depth as they were growing in the pot, make sure to check that the hole is the right depth by laying a bamboo cane across it. If the plant is standing too high you will need to remove some of the soil in the bottom of the hole, or if it is too low then top it up a little more.
  3. The next step is to gently tip the plant out with one hand on top of the compost to support it, taking care not damage any emerging shoots. Then simply ease the perennial out of its pot.
  4. Next, position the perennial in the center of the hole and fill in the gaps around the sides of the plant with soil mixture, firming it down gently. Don’t squash it in, just get rid of any air pockets and make sure it’s secure.
  5. Lastly, water thoroughly and cover the surface of the soil with a generous layer of mulch—well-rotted garden compost or manure is ideal. Keep the mulch at least 5 centimeters away from the base of the plant.

Planting Next to Trees and Shrubs

Similar as they do in the wild, climbers can also be trained to climb through trees and shrubs and over hedges. A slightly different planting technique should be used if planting a climber among established plants.

Be sure to choose a position that lies at the edge of the supporting plants’ canopy because this is where rainwater will drip off and keep the new climbers roots moist — known as the ‘drip zone’. Then prepare the ground in the normal way, but restrict yourself to the immediate area around the planting position so you disturb as few roots of the support plant as possible.

Once you’ve prepared the ground, dig a hole at least three-times as wide and twice as deep as the climber’s container and prune off any roots exposed by the excavation.

The climber needs to be planted as described above. Hammer in a stake next to the climber and tie a rope from it into the canopy of the supporting plant. Next, tie the climber to this rope so that it is guided into the supporting plant but is not uprooted every time the wind blows.

Lastly, cut back by two-thirds after planting. This will encourage many more side shoots to tie in. The growth hormones in climbers make them shoot straight upwards, thus creating a tall leggy specimen that is bare at the base. Buds lower down are encouraged to shoot and grow out sideways by cutting back that top growth. As a result, a bushier plant will be produced. Although it might seem brutal to cut back something newly planted, the end result will be a much healthier, fuller plant.


For more information about planting perennials don’t hesitate to contact us here at Agscapes Landscaping with the link below!

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