5 Fantastic Reasons to Grow Perennials

5 Fantastic Reasons to Grow Perennials

Perennials are perfect for any front yard or backyard garden. Here are five reasons why. By Justin Hancock
By Justin Hancock

If you're looking to add curb appeal to your landscape without adding a lot of extra maintenance, perennials might be for you! They're my favorite type of garden plant. Here are some of the reasons why.

1. Perennials Are a Good Investment
Because they come back every year -- and grow bigger and better as they do so -- perennials are a great investment. Pay for them once and get years (in some cases, decades) of beauty from them. As they grow, many perennials benefit from being divided -- that means you have more plants to use in your yard for free, or to share or trade with friends and neighbors. That also means you can often find interesting, low-cost perennials available at local neighborhood plant sales, as well as at local garden centers, big-box retailers, and mass merchandisers. 
Learn more about dividing perennials.

2. Perennials Tolerate the Weather
Unlike annuals, perennials have evolved to come back season after season, so they’ve had a lot of practice making sure they have the right timing. If you live in a cold climate, you rarely have to worry about perennials coming up too early and getting zapped by a sudden onset of cold temperatures (unlike tomatoes and other warm-season annuals).

3. Perennials Create an Ever-Changing Tapestry of Color
Most annuals bloom continuously through the growing season, and most perennials have shorter, more defined bloom seasons. That means with a little careful planning, you can plant different varieties of perennials to give your yard a different look in different seasons. For example, you might want to focus on soft colors like pink and blue in spring, then transition into yellow and red for summer, and finally orange and purple in autumn. This is one of my favorite things about perennials; they make it fun to design your garden and personalize it. 

4. There Are Perennials for Every Garden
There’s a breathtaking range of perennials from which you can choose. But don’t let that scare you -- it means you can find perfect perennials for your yard’s particular conditions. For example, there are plenty of deer-resistant varieties; an abundance of shade-loving types; and even a host of perennials that tolerate drought. And when you start focusing on the particular growing situations in your yard, it narrows down that large list and makes picking the perfect perennials easier. 

5. Perennials Are Interesting Choices of Container Gardening
While we typically think about annuals for container gardening, perennials offer a unique advantage: At the end of the season, you can remove them from their pots, plant them in the ground, and enjoy them for years to come. Or, if there are prized perennials you want to grow that don’t quite fit your area’s winter climate, you can put these plants in pots and keep them in a sheltered spot (such as a garage) for the cold months.