Perennial Flower Facts

  • Garden perennials are flowers that live for at least three years.
  • Perennials may not bloom in the first year, but after that they will bloom every year.
  • Since they bloom for many years, perennials do not need to produce as many seeds to survive.
  • Some perennials are herbaceous — that is, they have soft stems. The stems wither at the end of each summer and new stems grow next spring.
  • Woody perennials have woody stems. Their stems don’t wither, but most shed their leaves in autumn.
  • Perennials from temperate (cool) regions, like asters, irises, lupins, wallflowers, peonies and primroses, need a cold winter to encourage new buds to grow in spring.
  • Tropical perennials, such as African violets, begonias and gloxinias, cannot survive winters outdoors in temperate climates.
  • Most perennials spread by sending out shoots from their roots which develop into new stems.
  • Some perennials, such as columbines and delphiniums, last for only three or four years.
  • Gardeners make more perennials by taking cuttings — that is, pieces cut from stems or roots.
  • Polyanthus is a cross between two perennials, the primrose and cowslip.