The most commonly misunderstood collection of plants are perennials. The name perennial suggests that they should appear each and every year for the remainder of time but this is not necessarily so. There are several factors that affect the survival of perennials that are important to know in making choices for your garden.
One of the first “perennials” I had contact with growing up was “Hosta funkia”. My parents added an extension to their driveway along the side of the garage so the garden in this area had to go. My father saved some of the perennials and replanted them at the end of the asphalt. Every year, they showed up with their purple flowers and even though it was years later that I learned their name, I have never forgotten their loyalty.
Hosta belongs to a group of perennials called “herbaceous” perennials. They are NOT necessarily herbs. They are called herbaceous because the above ground part is not woody and most die back to the ground each fall and sprouts out from these roots each spring. Herbaceous perennials are my MOST favorite because their roots can be dug up and divided with a shovel and spread around the yard in all of the gardens, for free.
When growing perennials there are some cultural basics to remember: