Perennial Plant Care Guide – Hosta, Oriental Poppy, Ornamental Grasses, Penstemon

Hosta

To control weeds and retain moisture, apply a thin layer of compost each spring, followed by a 2 inch layer of mulch. These plants need watering during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week. After the first killing frost, cut stems back so that they’re 1 to 2 inches above the soil line. These plants need to be divided every 3 to 4 years in the spring.

Oriental Poppy

To control weeds and retain moisture, apply a thin layer of compost each spring, followed by a 2 inch layer of mulch. Plants are dormant during the summer months. During this time, they only need to be watered during periods of drought. Poppies will resume foliage growth in the fall until it frosts; the green leaves will remain throughout the winter. Apply a 4 to 6 inch layer of protective mulch after the soil has frozen to prevent heaving during temperature fluctuations. Gradually remove the protective mulch as the weather starts to warm up. These plants need to be divided in the early spring or summer.

Ornamental Grasses

To control weeds and retain moisture, apply a thin layer of compost each spring, followed by a 2 inch layer of mulch. These plants need watering during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week. To stimulate new growth, cut back the plant in late winter. Tall varieties, like fountain grass, can be kept upright with a stake. Some species need to be divided every 3 to 4 years.

Penstemon

To control weeds and retain moisture, apply a thin layer of compost each spring, followed by a 2 inch layer of mulch. These plants need watering during the summer if rainfall is less than 1 inch per week. After the first killing frost, cut stems back so that they’re 1 to 2 inches above the soil line.

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