Perennials are plants that live for three or more years. By the broadest definition, they include flowers, shrubs, trees, etc. and can sometimes live for hundreds of years. Most perennial flowers are referred to as “herbaceous perennials” because they lack woody stems. Trees and shrubs are referred to as “woody perennials” because they do have woody stems and/or trunks.

The tops of herbaceous perennials often die in the fall, but the roots survive the winter and send up new growth during the spring. Some herbaceous perennials grow rosette foliage (small leaves that grow along the base of the plant, similar to what biennials grow) after the stems die off.

Perennials can be further divided into evergreen and deciduous. Perennials that keep their foliage all year round are evergreen perennials. Decidouous perennials will lose their foliage during the fall or winter and grow it back during the spring.

Flower perennials sometimes bloom for only two or three weeks, although their leaves remain until winter sets in. While most flower perennials prefer cooler weather, some live happily in hot, humid, summer climates. Asters, chrysanthemums, and daisies are examples of flower perennials. Some perennial flowers start to look worn and tired after about 4 years so you should consider replacing them. Visit this site for a large list of common perennials flowers and some nice photos.
Small, yet superior in strength, this Dutch perennial planting tool is the master at dividing perennials, lifting weeds and planting bulbs.

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