By Mrs. Paul A. Kane
Perennials are plants which live more than two years. The term
is usually applied to plants other than trees and large shrubs.
Many perennials are herbaceous in habit. This means that the tops
die back to the ground but the roots send up new branches and
flower stems in the spring. For example, the large flowering mallows
are herbaceous. Other perennials may be herbaceous in severe winters
but evergreen during mild season. Example: Chinese hibiscus, plumbago.
It is important to realize that a plant that is herbaceous in
the north is not necessarily so in this section of the country.
Many perennials are easily raised from seed with care and patience.
Their seed does not germinate as quickly as the annual plants
and the seedlings may take several years to attain blooming size.
For this reason it is sometimes more sensible to buy blooming
size plants rather than wait that length of time. On the other
hand, perennials from seed are inexpensive and replacements may
be available when needed.
Perennial seed should be started in seed flats or small pots
and the best time to do this is in the early fall. October, when
rains are due is the best time to begin. Loose soil, full of humus,
Perennials that may be grown from seed and will do well in this
All the amaryllidaceae, from alliums to zephyranthes
Antigonon (Queen's Crown)
Asclepias (Butterfly Weed)
Clitoria (Blue Butterfly Pea)
Dutchman's Pipe Vine
Eryngium (Sea Holly)
Erythrina (Coral tree, Fireman's Helmet)
Glaucium (Horned Poppy)
**Impatiens (Sultans)-Take indoors for winter.
*Myosotis (English Forget-Me-Not)
*Indicates perennials for light shade.
*Indicates plants that should be started in April instead of October.