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Growing Perennial Plants in Alabama

With spring quickly approaching, many are rushing to plant their gardens hoping to beautify their yard with flowers. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could plant a garden once and enjoy the flowers for years to come? Perennial plants might be the solution to your problem.

There are three types of plants: annuals, biennials and perennials. Annuals and biennials have short life spans. Annuals, such as pansies and violas, complete their life cycle, growing, blooming and dying, within one year. Biennials, such as parsley and carrots, take two years to complete their life cycle; growing in the first year and flowering, seeding and dying in the second. In contrast, perennials can live for many years, typically dying-back in the winter and regrowing every spring.

Once established, perennials require little care apart from routine maintenance, such as fertilizing and pruning. Lucy Edwards, a regional agent in home horticulture with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, said, “Perennials are unique in that they can grow in almost any environment. Cacti and succulents can tolerate dry, low humidity environments. Weeping Willow and Bald Cypress enjoy wetter climates. Azaleas and blueberries appreciate low pH levels.” No matter where you live, there are probably perennials that will flourish in your area. In Alabama, hydrangeas, knockout roses, blueberries, crepe myrtles and azaleas are a few favorites.

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