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Perennial Flowering Plants in Mississippi

Perennials are plants that live for several years and often require two or more years from seed to flower. There is a renewed interest in herbaceous perennials because they need less maintenance, less water, and fewer pesticides than annuals. Many gardeners include flowering bulbs and ornamental grasses in this category. Once prominent in many landscapes, these enduring plants are being rediscovered for their dependable seasonal effects.

Unlike trees and woody shrubs, which are also perennials, herbaceous perennials are those that appear to die down part of the year, only to emerge again the following season from underground roots, stems, bulbs, or rhizomes. The simple term "perennial" is commonly used when referring to herbaceous perennials.

The daylily Suburban Nancy GaylePerennials are easily used as ground covers, mixed with annuals, grown in containers, and used as accents or specimen plants. Many perennials are short bloomers and are best mixed with others that bloom at different times or included with other landscape plants as part of an overall design. Other perennial plants, such as ferns and monkey grass, are more noted for their foliage than their flowers. Inclusion of these plants adds interest and creates seasonal color or texture to the landscape.

Favorite perennials, including many herbs and native wildflowers, have long been shared by gardeners and sold through garden centers and mail-order nurseries. Many are treasured by gardeners as heirloom plants and have proven themselves to be hardy enough to withstand our weather and climate extremes, often with little care. Others are exciting new discoveries or hybrids and may take several years to prove themselves in Mississippi gardens. However, there are a good many perennial plants that simply do not survive for more than a year or two in our warm, humid climate, just as some of our favorites will not survive long in colder areas of the United States.

Most annuals are planted in spring and are killed by frost in the fall. However, some, including pansies, ornamental cabbage, and dill are tolerant of our winters and are best planted in the fall for color throughout the winter. These are usually killed by the heat of early summer.

Some annuals, such as gomphrena, cosmos, and coreopsis reseed themselves, yielding several years of pleasure with minimal care. Annuals come in a variety of colors, heights, and textures, and their uses are almost unlimited. Unbeatable in masses of solid or mixed colors, annuals are also very effective in small groups or used to soften lines and accent borders.

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Publications

Publication Number: IS1523
Publication Number: P3318
Publication Number: IS0204
Publication Number: P2996

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Dozens of blue flowers bloom above an uninterrupted sea of green leaves
Filed Under: Flower Gardens January 14, 2019

Many home gardeners look forward to this time of year to browse catalogs in search of great new plants to enjoy in their 2019 landscapes.

One cluster of pink, crinkled flowers and some seed-heads are visible with dark-green foliage in the background.
Filed Under: Flower Gardens January 7, 2019

This January’s temperatures have been drastically different from what we saw during last year’s first month.

The colorful covers of about 20 gardening catalogs are fanned out on display.
Filed Under: Flower Gardens December 31, 2018

As I'm writing this last Southern Gardening column of 2018, I'm trying to take one more look back before plunging headlong into the 2019 gardening season that's just around the corner. But I'm having trouble concentrating because the mail carrier is distracting me.

Two-tone, yellow flowers bloom on green foliage at the base of a small tree planted in a container.
Filed Under: Flower Gardens December 24, 2018

2018 was quite a year in our Mississippi gardens and landscapes: hot and dry, humid and rainy. Every year, there are winners and losers when we garden, and such is the nature of the gardening game. 

A small pink stocking with a white fuzzy top hangs from a Christmas tree inside a house.
Filed Under: Flower Gardens December 17, 2018

With the Christmas celebration approaching, I’ve been thinking about favorite traditions, past and present. It probably comes as no surprise that many of these traditions are food related.

Success Stories

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Community, Family Dynamics, Flower Gardens, Youth Gardening
Volume 3 Number 3

Before she became the Hancock County Youth Court judge, Elise Deano was a school teacher. She jokes that she became a lawyer because she taught school, but Deano wants to make sure young people get an opportunity to turn their lives around.

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