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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.

See more about perennial flowering plants:

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News

A person spreading mulch in a flower bed.
Filed Under: Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Architecture, Vegetable Gardens March 26, 2020

Everyone’s normal routine is being flipped upside down. Employees are working from home, kids are out of school, and social gatherings are postponed. Boredom and stress are setting in. Gardening to the rescue! 

A carpet of tiny green and purple plants fill garden trays.
Filed Under: Flower Gardens, Vegetable Gardens March 23, 2020

With much of our workforce telecommuting from home and with school suspended or cancelled for the kids, cabin fever has already become an issue for many households.

A single, orange bloom is open against a background of green.
Filed Under: Flower Gardens March 16, 2020

We are certainly experiencing troubling and scary times right now. “Quarantine,” “pandemic” and “social distancing” have become frequently used words, at least until we get a handle on COVID-19.

As a result, garden and landscape shows are being cancelled all across the South out of an abundance of caution. But that doesn’t mean that gardening has been cancelled.

Scores of purple flower spikes rise from a bed of green foliage.
Filed Under: Flower Gardens March 9, 2020

Sometimes it seems I need a larger garden landscape because, sadly, I don’t have room for every great plant I write about. But one group of plants I make sure to save space for is perennial salvia.

White and purple flower stalks are massed in a bed with a variety of pink flowers and different colors and shapes of green leaves.
Filed Under: Flower Gardens March 2, 2020

March 1 was the meteorological first day of spring, and I found my thoughts wandering to those summer annuals I love so well. One of my cool-season favorites doesn’t last long past the last days of spring, but I know I have summer replacement.

Angelonia is a close relative of snapdragon that blooms all summer and into the fall. It is hard to believe that a plant in the snapdragon family relishes our summer heat and humidity, but this one does. Angelonia is a fantastic, easy-care annual that doesn’t need deadheading, which is always a positive in my garden choices.

Success Stories

Paul Cavanaugh standing in front of a sign that reads Master Gardeners at Work.
Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens
Volume 5 Number 3

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

4-H, Community, Lawn and Garden, Flower Gardens, Landscape Design and Management, Youth Gardening
Volume 5 Number 1

See what's new in Extension: Extension Supports University's Community Garden, Extension Appoints New 4-H Staff, Extension Landscape Symposium Honors Professor Emeritus, and Extension's Southern Gardener Opens Little Free Garden

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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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