How to: Use Perennial Plants

Perennial plants are stalwarts of the garden. Returning every year they provide great value for money and everlasting interest.

Erysimum Bowles Mauve


Perennial plants are garden essentials. They’re available in all shapes and sizes and come back every year. The colour range is also vast, with every shade imaginable on offer. Whatever your style, you’re guaranteed to find perennial plants to suit it.

Perennials are usually flowering plants, putting on a display any time from March to October depending on the type you choose. There are perennials for every location, with those suited to sunny, shady and exposed gardens. Just ask our in-store experts to advise on the right one for your growing conditions.

  • How to plant perennials

Perennials can be planted at any time of year, although get off to the best start in spring or autumn. Make sure your soil is weed free before your start. Work in some general purpose fertiliser as you plant, and water your new additions thoroughly.

Water new plants regularly in very dry conditions until they’re properly established. Never plant if ground is frozen solid.

Plant perennial plants in groups of three or five. This will provide blocks of colour and flower, and create more impact than lots of different plants dotted through a border.

  • Perennials in pots

Most perennial plants will grow well in pots providing you look after them properly. Plant them in multi-purpose compost and give them a weekly liquid feed (ask in-store) to keep them healthy.

Water potted perennials regularly, making sure the compost doesn’t dry for any length of time. Position potted perennials in a location that suits the plant – sun or shade etc.

  • Caring for perennials

Perennial plants are easy to look after. Snip off faded flowers as they appear to keep the display looking good. Also stake top-heavy blooms with bamboo canes to stop them toppling over.

Most perennials benefit from being cut back in the spring. Cut away dead or scruffy stems to reveal fresh new growth at the base of the plant.