How Adding Perennials Maximizes Your Garden's Potential

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Perennial plants typically live for three or more years, so you won’t have to plant something new in the area every year. Not only do perennials tend to live a long time, they also make good candidates for division, meaning your one plant can be segmented and replanted in another spot, or given to a friend.

Maximize the bang-for-your-buck in the future by planting perennials in your garden for extreme impact. Consider adding one or more of the following four perennials to your garden.

Blanket Flower

Looking for a heat-tolerant, drought-resistant plant? Then the brightly bloomed blanket flower is a good choice. Structured similar to a daisy, these red, yellow, and orange petals make a stunning statement in your garden. Whether you start them from seed or from a seedling, you are sure to brighten your area with dynamic color rather quickly.

Plant them in a dry, sunny place and don’t worry about sultry weather, these hardy plants can take it! Varieties typically bloom through the summer and come in sizes from 1 to 3 feet tall.

Control insects affecting blanket flower with insecticidal soap, according to package instructions. If planted in a shady location, periodically inspect plants for powdery mildew and dispose affected leaves. Plant in well-draining soil; these plants are susceptible to root rot.

Butterfly Weed

Butterfly weed is as equally stunning from far away as it is up close. Brightly-colored clusters of orange flowers not only look beautiful, but they also attract butterflies (as the name implies). Plant butterfly weed en masse to make a dramatic wave of color and greatly impact in your yard.

If you intend to place butterfly weed in your garden specifically to attracting butterflies, plant some in a sheltered location, such as behind other plants. Butterflies don't like to be so exposed, so this will make the area more hospitable for them.

Propagate plants in the spring by taking a 4-inch cutting from the plant. Strip leaves from the lower portion of the stem, and insert the stem into a mixture of damp sand and peat moss. Set aside in a moist, shaded location until well-rooted, then plant in the garden in a sunny location.


Candytuft is a semi-evergreen, ground-covering plant that prefers sun to partial shade. It features glossy green leaves and white cotton candy-like white flowers and grows up to 12 inches tall. This plant blooms in the spring and sometimes later in the summer of fall.

Place candytuft in front of tall blooming plants, along edging or sidewalks, or in the crevices of stone walls as an accent.

Trim plants generously after it finishes blooming. This will boost new growth and possibly encourage a second blooming. Inspect plants for powdery mildew and pick off offenders.


Geraniums are among one of the most versatile perennials. They come in a variety of colors and bush types and even offer a range in sizes. From smaller stems just a few inches tall to longer 2-foot tall or even 4- to 5-foot tall stems, you are likely to find a variety of geranium that will work perfect in your particular garden.

Plant geraniums in a sunny location, preferably where they will receive six to seven hours of light a day. Plant them at least 12 inches apart. Water frequently, allowing the soil to dry out before watering again. Fertilize monthly.

Inspect the plant throughout the growing season, paying close attention to deadheading spent blooms and removing dried leaves.

Consider winterizing geraniums indoors in potted containers. Return the plants to the garden in the spring.


  • DIY Network: How and When to Plant Geraniums
  • The Spruce: Growing Candytuft Flowers
  • Regenerative: 7 Advantages of Perennials

Diane Lockridge (author) from Atlanta, GA on May 24, 2019:

Thanks for the comments. Although I tend to gear articles towards living in the southern USA, I always enjoy reading comments from gardeners in other areas of the world!

Liz Westwood from UK on May 14, 2019:

In the UK I have come across geraniums a lot, but the other plants are unfamiliar to me. As I don't have a lot of time to garden, this article is very useful for me. Plants that last a while suit me best. Great photos too.

RTalloni on May 13, 2019:

I think my neighbor just gave me a nice bunch of blanket flower plants. Going to have to study them a bit. Thanks for a look at these perennials.

Watch the video: How to split and divide plants - Useful tips

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