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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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A cluster of small pink verbena flowers with white centers is seen above a bed of green.
Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens March 19, 2018

This past weekend, I had the great pleasure of speaking at the Jackson Garden Extravaganza. They had a huge selection of colorful plants on display and for sale, and I left with quite a number of colorful annuals to plant before I hit the road again this weekend.

Tiny pink buds cluster in groups on a bare branch.
Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Landscape and Garden Design March 12, 2018

One of my favorite spring flowering trees is our native redbud.

This small tree flowers early in the spring before most other trees have started to leaf out after their winter naps. It’s good that redbuds blooms so early because they are usually found as understory trees. While driving around the state, it’s common to see a redbud framed or silhouetted by leafless hardwoods.

Filed Under: Flower Gardens March 8, 2018

Horticulture students will host their spring plant sale at the Mississippi Horse Park during the Everything Garden Expo on March 24 and 25.

Deep pink blossoms cover the mostly bare branches of a shrub.
Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Landscape and Garden Design March 5, 2018

We're finally emerging from the "freezemageddon" we experienced earlier this year, and the garden and landscape are emerging with a vengeance.

A small tree with leafy green growth on the bark
Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Landscape and Garden Design February 26, 2018

Spring has sprung, at least in my Ocean Springs landscape, and gardeners once again are venturing out and taking an inventory of plant damage from this winter’s cold. Performing this yearly garden task is easier when many plants haven’t started their new growth yet.

Success Stories

brightly colored wooden fence and gate
Community, Family Dynamics, Flower Gardens, Youth Gardening Extension Matters: 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.


A Native Spring
Southern Gardening

A Native Spring

Sunday, March 18, 2018 - 2:00am
Sharpening Your Tools
Southern Gardening

Sharpening Your Tools

Sunday, March 11, 2018 - 5:00am
Knockout Your Knockouts
Southern Gardening

Knockout Your Knockouts

Sunday, March 4, 2018 - 2:00am
Seedling Transplants
Southern Gardening

Seedling Transplants

Sunday, February 25, 2018 - 3:30pm
Southern Gardening


Sunday, February 18, 2018 - 7:00am


Thursday, March 22, 2018 - 2:00am
Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 7:00am
Tuesday, March 20, 2018 - 2:00am
Monday, March 19, 2018 - 2:00am
Friday, March 16, 2018 - 2:00pm

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