Perennial beds bloom magnificently and also develop great without an intensive use of care. From the first months of spring to late autumn, perennials bloom continuously and beautifully, adding color to any garden. Planting is possible without any problems, preferably after the end of the growing season. Perennial beds can be created thematically and are feasible for almost all areas in the garden. However, careful planning before planting is essential, because the design and combination of the perennials should not only be decided on the basis of personal taste. The given environmental factors must be considered and included in the selection and planning, since the plants have very different demands on the habitat.

Suitable location, plants, plant substrate

Depending on the environmental conditions of the site, the choice of plants must also be made. If the perennial bed is mostly in the shade, shade-loving plants that do well with little sun should be used. When planting the perennials, it is important to note the height and width that the selected plants can reach in the future. The vegetation near the bed must also be considered when planting so that there are no later problems. The quality of the soil also plays a decisive role. In general, it is best to make the selection of suitable perennials dependent on the soil and site conditions prevailing in the garden.

If you try to make an actually unsuitable location suitable, you will only end up with problems in the long run. For promoting the longevity of the herbaceous border while minimizing the need for care, the right location is crucial.

  • The selected planting site must be carefully prepared and the soil loosened
  • Loosening the soil so that the roots are well supplied with oxygen and excess water can drain off
  • Tall perennial plants belong in the background, medium-tall plants in the middle of the bed and plants that stay low in the foreground.
  • However, do not follow the arrangement too rigidly, instead create a flowing transition of the forms
  • Protected from too much rain and wind, and if possible sunny location
  • If the soil quality is very poor, add a rich plant substrate
  • Plant substrate with bark humus, peat and lime is helpful

Proper preparation of the site

If the soil at the desired location is prepared appropriately, the plants in the perennial border can grow without any problems and develop their full beauty. Although this preparation is associated with a certain amount of work, it will pay off in the future and minimize subsequent work assignments.

  • Loosen the soil at the planting site and remove all stones, especially the larger specimens
  • Thoroughly clean the soil of weeds and their roots, and in the case of severe infestation, even sift out the remains of the roots
  • Ingrown weeds are difficult to remove later from the perennial bed
  • Enrich the soil with mature compost, about 2-3 liters per square meter, and horn shavings, about 50 g per square meter
  • Spread the fertilizer evenly over the entire area and work it in with a rake
  • If the perennials do not tolerate soil moisture, we recommend deep loosening of the soil and the introduction of a drainage layer

Adequate preparation of plants and beds

Before planting, not only the soil but also the respective plant and the bed must be well prepared. In this way, the plants feel right at home and can take root quickly. Sufficient water supply is important in the beginning, as perennials that dry out do not take root well. However, most perennials do not tolerate waterlogging, but this danger can be eliminated with a drainage system that allows the water to drain away quickly. The larger the bed, the more important it is to determine the appropriate place for the plant before planting, so that there are no mix-ups and incorrectly planted perennials.

  • The perfect time for planting is early fall
    • Growing season already over, but the soil is still warm enough for re-rooting
  • Water the perennials vigorously immediately before planting. Dipping the root balls is ideal so that they are thoroughly soaked
  • if no more air bubbles rise to the top, the bale has absorbed the maximum amount of water
  • In large beds and borders, lay out the perennials on the surface before planting. In this way, the necessary plant spacing and arrangement can be easily surveyed and corrected if necessary
  • Dig a hole large enough for the plant, using the size of the root ball as a guide
  • Place the perennial carefully, cover with soil and then press down firmly with both hands
  • Then water each of the plants individually and very thoroughly with a watering can without a spray function, thereby closing potential cavities in the soil
  • If the root ball has direct contact with the surrounding soil all around, the roots can immediately take up the nutrients and water they need
  • In the early weeks, keep the soil as free of weeds as possible; a mulch cover is very useful here
  • Water regularly in dry weather so that root formation is not inhibited by a lack of water

fertilizing and watering

If the soil is well prepared with compost, the perennials will be supplied with enough nutrients from the start. Nevertheless, you should still fertilize during the year. Regular watering is necessary so that the plants take root quickly and do not dry out.

  • Fertilize regularly but not excessively throughout the growing season
  • Water normally, pay attention to increased water supply during dry periods
  • An automatic irrigation system is ideal

Matching perennials for attractive borders

Perennials come in a wide range and variety of shapes, each with different demands on their environment. These requirements are the decisive criteria for the final selection and combination of plants so that they can grow without problems. In addition, the perennial bed should match the rest of the garden and create a harmonious overall picture. In addition, there are no limits to personal imagination and preferences.

  • Lead perennials as a framework and in the background of the bed, are characterized by a long lifespan, extraordinary growth forms and lush inflorescences, including tall grasses, perennial sunflowers and the coneflower
  • Also use spring and early summer flowering plants in the background, such as the Bleeding Heart
  • Perennials as filler plants to close the gaps, including geraniums, lady’s mantle, magnificent candles and noble rue, filling perennials are characterized by filigree flower shapes and a fine foliage dress
  • Plan ornamental foliage perennials and grasses, such as ferns and purple bells
  • Plan the low summer and autumn bloomers at the front and the tall varieties at the back, especially the asters
  • Think of bulbous and bulbous plants in autumn and plant them in a suitable spot for next spring

The arrangement of perennials

In order for the perennial bed to look uniform and a pleasing sight, a certain arrangement must be observed so that there is no chaotic and unsightly impression. However, transitions that are too hard and rigid rules should be avoided so that a natural and balanced impression can arise.

  • Plan leading perennials at irregular intervals, so that the whole planting is held together visually and uniformly
  • Form groups, especially with odd specimens, paying attention to the shapes of the perennials, the smaller and more limited the perennial growth, the larger this group should be
  • When different varieties of a specific plant species are planted in small groups, calm and balance is brought into large borders
  • Certain flower colors and special flower shapes are repeated, including umbels, candles, basket flowers and bowls, so a red thread runs through the bed
  • Create flowing transitions and let the shapes merge into one another in a playful way, don’t create too rigid arrangements
  • Arranging the same plants in waves or in a mosaic form creates a playful effect
  • An arrangement after the flowering period is also possible

Thematic guides to perennial discounts

Perennial borders can be arranged thematically, but the selected theme should match the rest of the garden so that a stylish overall picture is retained. If you have a lot of space, you can also create various themed gardens. However, if these are in sight, uniform characteristics of the individual discounts must be observed.

  • Decorate a Japanese perennial bed with a few flowering plants and perennials that radiate tranquillity, exotic grasses, ferns and evergreens with stones
  • If necessary, use exquisite blossoms, such as camellias and magnolias , to bring Far Eastern garden culture to life
  • Use native perennials for a cottage garden and frame the bed with boxwood
  • Equip Mediterranean borders with plants from the Mediterranean region, but note here that they are suitable for winter

Preparation for the winter time

If you choose hardy plants in advance, you will have no problems with them in winter. Nevertheless, winter protection is recommended so that the perennials can survive the cold temperatures unscathed. Winters can be long and harsh in these latitudes, and there is often long periods of snow, especially at higher altitudes.

  • Prune perennials in late fall, especially dead and brown branches and leaves
  • Remove weeds so that they do not start to sprout immediately at the beginning of spring
  • Cover the soil of the perennial beds with pine brushwood before the severe ground frosts
  • Lay out warm mulch blankets

diseases and pests

Such can flourish especially with improper care and overwatering. Too moist or consistently wet soil is an ideal breeding ground for disease vectors. Therefore, every perennial bed must be monitored and checked regularly so that countermeasures can be taken promptly. Depending on the plant species used, there are also different diseases and pests that can make themselves at home in the bed. Therefore, only the common infestation is presented here. Dry and dying leaves and branches indicate a lack of water. An automatic sprinkler system is ideal to avoid these factors.


  • Aphids occur on most outdoor plants
  • Rinse affected areas with a jet of water, if necessary also wipe off with your fingers
  • Spray affected plants with a gentle mixture of dish soap and water and wash off, covering the surrounding soil

snail damage

  • Regular collection of the snails
  • Lay out large plant leaves as bait, which the snails like to hide behind
  • Encouraging natural enemies, such as songbirds
  • Sprinkle lime and crushed egg shells
  • Bierfalle
  • snail fences

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