How to Grow Perennial Plants

When to Plant Perennial Plants

For our fall-shipping perennial plants, plant 4-6 weeks before the hard frost date in your area. Note that this is different than the first frost date! A hard frost occurs when the ground freezes, and the first frost is when the air temperature drops below freezing. On average, a hard frost occurs 2-4 weeks after a first frost.

Why Plant in the Fall?

Spring is when flowers are on your mind, but fall is a great time to plant perennial plants.

As the temperature cools, plants will be focusing on root growth instead of vegetative or flower growth.

It is difficult for early-season flowering plants to produce flowers if planted in the spring. If planted in the fall however, your plant will establish its root system, experience dormancy in the winter, then explode with new growth in the spring. You will almost always have flowers in the first year when planting in the fall.

Location selection

Location selection is critical for perennial success!

Your house probably has many different micro-climates. While initially challenging to note each area's different sun level, moisture level, and soil composition; a variety of climates means you can grow a variety of plants!

Even slope can be a factor. Clay soil on an incline, is much more well draining than clay soil on a flat or valley. It may even drain more quickly than normally fast-draining soil types at the bottom of a hill where water can collects.

Maybe the front of your house is full sun, but the back is wooded, creating areas of sun and shade. Or the full sun area has a large tree, creating a pocket of deep shade in a normally sunny area.


Plant your perennial plant with the top of the root ball level with the soil line. Planting too low can cause water to gather around the plant, and too high will expose the root system.

Water deeply at the soil line immediately after planting.


Perennials are a long-living plant, so it isn't usually necessary to push growth as quickly as possible. We recommend applying shredded leaves or undyed wood chips as mulch around your perennials. As these breakdown, the soil will be improved with these nutrients.

When mulching, be sure to leave a few inches clear around the base of the stem to prevent rotting.

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