Perennials are a great investment in your garden. Because they return for many years, you’ll enjoy them for more than just one season. Many of them also spread so you can divide them or share with other gardeners to expand your garden. And some perennials live for decades. Yes, decades. So, your one-time investment can yield amazing returns in the long run.
The most important thing to remember when shopping is to choose perennials that will survive winters in your USDA Hardiness zone (find yours here). You also need to make sure you give the plant the correct sun exposure: Full sun is considered 6 or more hours of direct sunlight per day, while part sun is about half that. Shade is no direct sunlight, or only a bit of morning sun.
Finally, perennials take time to fill out, so be patient. There’s an old gardening saying that perennials “walk, creep, run”—meaning they’re slow to take off the first year, they pick up the second year, then they kick into high gear by the third season.
While most perennials can be planted from seed, that’s not the best route if you’re impatient or want color and drama now, not five years from now. Yes, plants are more expensive, but you’ll get faster results if you opt for mature plants.