Annual planting of perennials

Someone asked me when they should annually plant their perennials. Ha ha. She swears that she has to replant (or have someone replant for her) "all" of her perennials each year, especially columbine. I can't imagine that she gets anything to bloom. I would also guess that she doesn't really have that many flowers in her yard.

Perennials generally take about three years to really take hold, especially when planting from 1st year seedlings vs. divides from mature plants. Remember "sleep, creep, leap". The 1st year, the perennials don't seem to be doing too much, and may not even bloom (sleeping). If you need for an area of the garden to be colorful, while you are waiting for the perennials to establish themselves, you can plant some annual flowers amongst them, just don't crowd them out.

The 2nd year, perennials start to show a little more spunk and increase in size (start creeping). Most likely they will bloom if they didn't bloom the 1st year. The 3rd year, they take off, so to speak (leap) and may even need to be dug and divided in the fall.


  1. Columbines tend to be short-lived perennials. I usually get 3 or 4 years, and then they are tuckered out. But they reseed really well. Maybe she's just keeping her garden too well weeded?


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