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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 man sits at a table with books.
Filed Under: Flower Gardens May 17, 2022

Mississippi author, host and columnist Gary Bachman will be a featured guest in October at the 2022 Louisiana Book Festival presenting his book, “Southern Gardening All Year Round.”
 Bachman is host of the Mississippi State University Extension Service’s Southern Gardening television show and author of the weekly Southern Gardening newspaper column.

A container is filled with red blooms on stems.
Filed Under: Flower Gardens May 16, 2022

May is one of my favorite months in the garden and landscape because so many plants are just starting to hit their stride. Bright-green, new foliage seems to be everywhere among my many hibiscuses and other flowering shrubs. One of my May favorites is the daylily.

Three yellow shrubs grow in front of white railing.
Filed Under: Flower Gardens May 9, 2022

I visited my daughter who lives in Augusta, Georgia, during the Christmas holidays to help her landscape her new house. I thoroughly enjoyed our trip to the garden center, picking out great plants that would perform well in her landscape. The best of what we bought that day in December was the Sunshine Ligustrum.

A reed-like plant has delicate white blooms.
Filed Under: Flower Gardens May 2, 2022

One of the most confusing things when reading about plants in the landscape or talking to other gardeners about them is the use of common names. White it is understandable that we use common names -- remembering and using botanical Latin is hard -- it does lead to confusion. Some plants have two or more common names, and there are other instances where two different species have the same common name. For example, consider the common name, spider lily.

White and pink native azaleas.
Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture, Smart Landscapes April 25, 2022

There’s no plant more iconic in the springtime than azaleas. Their bright, colorful blooms are exactly what we need to welcome the warm weather after a dreary winter. 

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Greenhouse Tomatoes, Farming, Flower Gardens
Volume 2 Number 3

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Business continues to blossom at Jackson Farms in Bassfield, and one reason may be because the family-owned nursery connects with its clientele in ways that its big-box competition does not.

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Commercial Horticulture, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens
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Celebrating Arboretum Excellence

The Mississippi State University Crosby Arboretum in Picayune received the 2016 Garden Excellence Award from the American Public Gardens Association.

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Community, Leadership, Master Gardener, Coronavirus, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens
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Volume 5 Number 3

Mississippi’s Pine Belt Master Gardeners are extending their knowledge across state lines, with prize-winning results.

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