How to Plant Perennial Flowers & Plants

Perennials are the mainstay of the traditional flower garden. When planted correctly, they are long-lived.

Beautiful Border Bulbs

Beautiful Border Bulbs

Delphiniums are classic herbaceous border plants. 

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Delphiniums are classic herbaceous border plants. 

Step 1: Trial Placement

Trial Placement

Trial Placement

Stand the plant in its nursery pot to position it before planting. Make sure the plant is in the right spot before digging hole and planting.

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Stand the plant in its pot in position in the border. Do a visual check—will it have enough room to spread to its mature height and width, or will it be overwhelmed by neighboring plants?

Step 2: Add Organic Matter

Add Organic Matter

Add Organic Matter

Dig in plenty of organic matter, such as compost or rotted farmyard manure, in the garden area before planting. Work compost in the soil, then dig hole as deep as the nursery pot.

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Dig in plenty of organic matter, such as garden compost or well-rotted farmyard manure, over and beyond the planting area. Dig a planting hole about twice as wide and as deep as the pot or root ball.

Step 3: Tap it Out

Tap it Out

Tap it Out

Knock the plant out of its nursery pot and gently tease out roots before planting.

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Knock the plant out of its pot and gently tease some roots free from the root ball—this encourages them to spread into the surrounding soil, especially if the roots are congested. If you see any dead or damaged roots, trim them off with pruners.

Step 4: Plant Straight Up

Plant Straight Up

Plant Straight Up

Stand plant in hole, and ensure root ball is level with soil surface. Draw soil around root ball, making sure level of plant does not change.

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Stand the plant in the hole. Ensure that the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface; if needed, remove or add soil to get the level right. Draw soil around the root ball with your fingers to fill in the hole, making sure that the level of the plant doesn’t change.

Step 5: Firm Soil

Firm with Soil

Firm with Soil

Use heel to firm in soil around newly planted perennial. This will remove air pockets and make sure that roots are in contact with soil.

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Use your heel to firm the soil gently around the plant. This removes any air pockets and makes sure that the roots are in contact with the soil. Double-check that the plant hasn’t become lopsided.

Step 6: Post Planting Watering

Post Planting Watering

Post Planting Watering

Water perennials thoroughly after planting to settle the roots and eliminate air pockets.

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Water thoroughly after planting to settle the soil around the roots and eliminate any air pockets. Apply a thick mulch to help keep in the moisture, and water your new plant in dry periods.

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