Updated: Mar 15, 2022
Many Colorado gardeners love knowing that their garden will bloom without fail each year. This is done through the proper planning and planting of perennials. Perennials are, as you may know, flowers that bloom annually as opposed to the once-a-year lifecycle of annuals or two-year lifecycle of biennials.
So, while perennials may be great for keeping your garden blooming annually, you will still need to know how to properly set them up for success. This is especially true in the unpredictable climate of Colorado! So, let’s take a look at how to plant perennials for success in Colorado!
When to Plant.
The most important aspect of planting a perennial is when you should actually do the planting. There is some ongoing debate amongst gardeners about whether or not fall or spring is the best time to plant perennials.
The Pros & Cons of Planting in Fall.
The major benefit of planting perennials in the fall is the cooler climate, and more welcoming soil. In Colorado, spring and summer temperatures can get pretty hot--especially with the intense sunlight that Colorado often gets. So, planting in the fall allows for a cooler climate and a soil that is residually warmer after the summer.
These more ideal weather conditions allow the plants to establish themselves faster, which helps them to settle in properly before the winter. Planting in spring can take quite a bit more effort to get your perennials to settle in.
The major drawback of the fall is the fact that perennial selections are hit or miss when buying your flowers. Most retailers sell their flowers in the springtime, and it can be hard to find the right flowers in the fall if you are looking for young plants.
You should also consider the fact that planting in the fall brings some risk with it. If there is an early frost that year, you could risk losing all of your plants before they have a chance to settle in! So, consider this carefully.
The Pros & Cons of Planting in Spring.
Spring is a time of new beginnings and fresh growth. This makes it feel natural to plant your perennials during this time. Here you will find that you are given more time to prepare your garden before the next winter, and you don’t have to worry about the potential for early frosts killing your plants.
In addition to having more preparation time, there is more selection. Spring is when garden retailers bring out their perennials en masse. You will have a massive selection of various flowers and plants to choose from to give your garden the color and life you have dreamed of--without limiting your options.
However, the major drawback of planting in spring is the higher difficulty of germination. The reduced moisture and higher temperatures make it hard for perennials to establish themselves. In the fall you have cooler air temperatures and higher moisture levels.
It’s hard to know for sure which season is best for you and your process. Either way, both spring and fall planting have their own advantages and disadvantages for you to consider. But, in the end, you can still enjoy a gorgeous and lush perennial garden no matter when you plant between the two. Contact our perennial planting pros and get us out there for a free site survey to give your perennial garden the best chance at thriving!