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Location: Louisiana

Any low maintenance perennials for SE Louisiana?


I have never gardened before. I just purchased a home and it came with a garden...or remnants of one anyway. I plan on just pulling everything up and starting fresh. I need to know what plants would go best in my garden. I want perennials so I don't to be replanting every season. However, I don't know what would work best in my garden. I live in southeast louisiana and my garden receives sun for most of the day. Also,I want LOW maintenance garden....I don't have much extra time on my hands.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Personally, I'm fond of irises and daylilies. I think there are probably varieties that will grow in your area, although I couldn't name them for you. I've never gardened in Louisiana.

Irises and daylilies need to be dug up and divided every few years, although I've found that daylilies do just fine if left alone. They just spread out. Irises are a bit pickier. Over the years, they spread out in a circle, but those in the center die, so unless you dig them up and divided them every 3 to 5 years, you'll have rings of flowers, rather than groupings. :)

Peonies, another of my favorites, like to be left alone completely. They get really grumpy and stop blooming for a season or two if they're moved.

About all you have to do with these plants is remove the dead foliage and spent flowers.

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I like planting with native plants, which are hardy and once established, very low maintenance because they are adapted to your conditions. The local wildlife is adapted to them, so the native plants will be much more likely to be attractive to birds, butterflies, etc.

You are in Louisiana, right? Bearded iris should be all right for you, though not native, but you need to check cultivars of daylilies carefully, many of them need more chilling time for dormancy than you probably have and peonies almost definitely will not do well for you because they grow best in a climate with true winter, for a winter dormancy period.

Native perennials that should do well for you include: yarrow, anemone, milkweed/ butterfly weed, coreopsis, evening rain lily, purple coneflower, scarlet pea/ Texas indigo, blazing star/ gayfeather, bee balm, evening primrose/ sundrops, black or brown eyed susans, salvia, golden rod (but it can be an aggressive spreader in the garden).

If you like the look of daylilies, you have a southern adapted native whose beautiful flowers look a lot like daylilies. It variously goes by puccoon, gromwell, narrow leaf stone seed.

Plant a mixture of these, and sit back and watch them thrive and all the butterflies, hummingbirds, etc come to them.

Susan W
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One thing to keep in mind with annuals and perennials is bloom time. Some annuals will bloom their heads off all summer, and you start fresh next spring. Perennials have a shorter bloom time, say a month or so. To have a pretty garden need to space and plan for optimum pretty. Each year that changes as one plant is more aggressive, perhaps another just isn't right, etc etc.

What looks like a pretty perennial in the home-garden magazines must be photo-shopped. There is no way all those varieties can look that pretty and fresh at one time! and certainly not be blooming on cue!

As for suggestions given, daylilies are great, bloom in June, and that's it. Also major spreaders. There are the stella, ever blooming ones. I think they need more food than I am giving them, as they mostly don't bloom. Peonies don't do well in our hot muggy climate. You will get a few pretty blooms in May, then heavy rains will tear them up and you are left with a clump of foliage.

You have a very long season, and I would think want some color the whole time. Early color could be daffodils (I have a couple blooming now). That for next year as bulbs planted around Thanksgiving. I suggest Mexican sage for back and late bloom. It grows tall, shrub like, but dies back. Blooms start late August go strong into light frost. Rudbeckia (Black eyed Susans) and Coneflower both easy, like well drained for mid summer color. I would fill in with quick and easy annuals for sustaining color. These could include zinnias, marigolds, salvias. Another background one is Russian sage, not a sage really). Is shrub like, feathery light blue blooms early to mid summer.

Hope this helps more than hinders!

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