and many of the grasses die out in the center leaving a bare space.
In spring dig them up and save the outside ring which you can cut
up and replant into several new plants.
You will find the roots all tangled much like those of a houseplant
left in a pot too long.
and the tall Asters
roots get so tangled and mums
sometimes try to grow on their old roots which can’t support the new
plant which is usually bigger than the original plant.
They don’t form a definite circle in the center but do need to be
divided nearly every year by taking the outside new plants that will soon
make their own roots. I like
to “rotate” my crops” this way by moving the new babies into a
different area where the diseases and insects have a harder time to find
is a long living perennial but many authors recommend dividing every 5
years or so to get a better crop. The
soil nutrients are used up early and the plant is a heavy eater so it can
gradually decline if you just let it “sit”.
It can be divided in either fall or spring.
The plants will probably do better in spring as soon as the ground
can be worked and you can find them. They
need to be about 3 feet apart in well drained sandy soil with a pH between
5 and 6.8. Do not harvest the
first year and lightly the second season.
Seed heads need to be pulled as soon as they appear.
The leaves are poisonous (oxolic acid) if eaten but can be used for
mulch or put in the compost pile. If you have many plants you can dig some
after heavy frost and put them in containers in a dark cool place for a
month at least. Then bring
them out in light at 50-60 degrees F. Keep them moist and you will have
early rhubarb. But the plants
will need to recuperate in the soil for at least two years.
flower (Helenium sp) is sometimes called sneezeweed. It
does not cause sneezing, and may grow as tall as 5 feet with many
variations of its bloom color from solid yellow to bi-colors.
Like mums the roots get too crowded and the plant will
gradually decline unless it’s divided.
I generally don’t leave them over two years in the same place. It
is an early starter so can be divided either spring or fall.
I prefer fall after the first frost but before the ground freezes
hard. If I want to plant them
in the same area, I dig a fairly large hole and add a good amount of
compost to rejuvenate the moisture holding and add nutrients.
are listed as “short lived perennials” at most 3-4 years.
They are heavy seeders but some colors are more aggressive than
others if left alone. You may want to select the seeds of the colors you
prefer. If the wild Canadensis is in your mix it wont take them very many
years before they dominate the patch.
They are a red and yellow bi-color.
live longer in an ideal garden (warm and not hot, humid and not dry) such
The purpose in
life of a plant is to reproduce and have another generation do the same.
Many times you can prolong a plants life by dead-heading to
stimulate them to make a new set of blooms.
Biennials such as Sweet
Rocket (Hesperis matronalis) from Europe and
Many of the
bulbs function a little different. If
you let them mature their seeds, they will do so at the expense of the
bulb. Their seeds may not
mature enough to bloom for several years so you will only have large
flowers for one year. This is
why directions come with them to deadhead the blooms and keep the leaves
standing to send “food” to the bulb.
Deeper planting also helps keep the bulbs bigger.
(hybrids) have this seeding problem but Jonquils
do not, but both need that foliage. Lilies need to be
deadheaded leaving as much stem as possible.
It is recommended not to cut your lilies
for bouquets every year or it weakens the bulb.
need to know your plants and what they like!!!