Love Perennials..Looking for names of plants that multiply.

mattmatts-momma(8)March 7, 2012

Hello, I love perennials and I am looking for names of plants that multiply and come back every year. I have alot of daylilies, iris'and some flowering perennials.

But what else can I plant that will multiply? I have alot of empty flower beds around my house and I am just not sure what I should start with that won't break the bank.

My thinking is that if I can start with some multiplying plants, eventually I will be able to divide them to fill up some more space.

Some of the pictures I have seen on Gardenweb of members gardens are breath taking. How did yall get started? Did you just by several plants over time?

I did find a little nursery nearby, that sells perennials in multiply sizes. Big, medium, small.. I did like that because if you go with the smaller pot, the cost is less. Does anyone have a good source for mail order plants?

Thank you if you can help me.

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i started.. by going to the local nursery.. and buying one of each of every SMALL plant they had ...

and then i went home and built a bed to put them in ..

and then i decided it would be easier.. to build a garden bed first .. lol ...

and i usually lost half of everything.. that is why i bought small and cheap ... and i learned a lot thru failure ...

all perennials increase and multiply .... so by definition.. you are in the right place ...

finally.. you have to start with the local seller ... because they will have stuff that.. get this.. should work locally ... one downside to GW .. is that you will not be able to grow what everyone here grows ... but after 10 years of practice.. you can start trying such..

start with the local easy stuff.. and learn how to make a good garden bed.. and you should be well on your way to your garden of Eden ...

and just learn how to grow them.. worry about design in a few years.. perennials are easily moved around .. so we can start designing something.. in a year or two.. when you have a lot of stock to work with ...


    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 9:08AM
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Nepeta 'Walker's Low' - roots so easily and comes back every year.
Sedum's root easily and come back. 'Matrona' is good.
Russian Sage is tough and I've been getting seedlings in the Spring.
Delosperma cooperi (Hardy iceplant) is easiest of all to root from cuttings and blooms so long! It's great as a ground cover.
Gaillardia, Echinacea, Agastache and Rudbeckia - easy from seeds
Yucca 'Color Guard' looks good year round. It multiplies when you divide the offsets.
These are some of my easiest to grow but favorite plants.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 12:50PM
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Look in your state's forum for plant swaps!
That's how I got going with out having to buy so much from the garden centers.

Now I'm passing on plants at swaps, and also growing from seed and making cuttings to expand my stock and also to pass on to new gardeners.

Here is a link that might be useful: Georgia Exchanges page

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 4:02PM
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You've got some great suggestions already but I'll add that growing perennials from seed via winter sowing is incredibly easy and gives you lots of new perennials for just the cost of some good growers mix. Check out the Winter Sowing forum here on GardenWeb.

You can trade for seeds via the Seed Exchange forum here on GardenWeb--look for SASBE/BEAP offers (that's Self-Addressed Stamped Bubble Envlope/Bubble Envelope And Postage) if you don't have seeds to offer in trade. I'm currently trying to empty my 2011 seed stash of harvested perennial seeds and could probably send you some although pickings are getting mighty slim by now.

Thanks to winter sowing the past couple of years, I've filled multiple flowerbeds with hundreds of new perennials for pennies...and had tons of fun in the process.

Here's a little eye candy. These were all grown via winter sowing:

Lobelia cardinalis/cardinal flower

Gaura lindheimeri/wand flower


Catananch caerulea/Cupid's dart

Belamcanda chinensis/blackberry lily (with 'Autumn Colors' Rudbeckia in the background)

Echinacea purpurea/purple coneflower

Lobelia siphilitica/great blue lobelia

Agastache rupestris/sunset hyssop

Rudbeckia hirta/gloriosa daisy 'Double Gold'

Adenophora pereskiifolia/ladybells

Lupinus perennis/lupine

Verbascum/mullein 'Milkshake'

Aquilegia vulgaris/Barlow columbine

Trollius ledebouria/Chinese globeflower

Penstemon/beardtongue 'Mystica'


    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 5:38PM
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I started with a couple of flower beds that have slowly grown into many flower beds. Like Ken I bought small cheap pots of perennials at my terrific nearby nursery. After 30 years it is still my favorite place to buy plants. You can get advice from others( and I encourage you to do that) but what performs well in my garden may not do as well in yours.

I spent a lot of time reading the plant labels. You'd be surprised just how much info they have. Once I had my bed made I placed my perennials far apart and filled in with annuals.

Some of my favorite annuals that drop their seed and come up again the next year
Calendula, Poppies, pansies, portulacca, annual phlox

Some of my favorite perennials. Besides my lilies which I love try Goblin Gillardia, Bleeding heart luxuriant moonglow correopsis--this last is always the laast to show in spring so don't think it's dead.

Really I think you should make some gardening friends in your neighbourhood. There's not a gardener alive who can resist someone admiring their garden. You'd be surprised how many will offer a slip or cutting from their garden. Besides free plants you can get a better idea of plants that suit your growing conditions

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 6:05PM
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I second winter sowing as a great and economical way to grow lots of plants. One that I started thru winter sowing 5 yrs ago is Salvia Blue Queen. I started with one small plant started in a small styrofoam cup. Now that plant grows to almost 3 feet in circumference and blooms all summer and its babies are trying to take over the universe. I move the babies here and there to places where there's room for it to spread. Gaillardia and coreopsis have self seeded for me as well - sorry don't recall the varieties. If you like grasses at all Mexican feather grass reproduces vigorously - I have them throughout my garden as well. Everything I mentioned grows well in intense all day New Mexico sun and are drought tolerant once established.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 11:56PM
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Thank you for all the great suggestions, I really appreciate them.

Gardenweed, I love the pictures!

I will have to research winter sowing a little bit more. I have never tried that. Do you start the seeds in cups or pots and leave them outside or do you just throw the seeds where you want them? I'd be afraid I'd pull out seedings as weeds. Dug out a plant yesterday by accident, everytime I go out there, I find myself saying...oops, I think that's a plant.

I will watch the swaps too, although I am not sure if people would want to swap for the generic plants that I have. Seems like alot of people grow intresting stuff on GW.

Alot of what I have done is trial and error. At my last house my best flower bed was where I had planted a couple of each plant, one made, the other didn't. But in the end what did live looked great. I find that some things that are labeled "Full Sun", don't like the hot Georgia sun. It gets hotter than blue blazes in the summer here.

I'll read up on the plants that everyone suggested and see if they will work for me.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 9:14AM
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With winter sowing you sow seeds in recycled containers that have drainage holes and are filled with growers mix. The containers act like mini-greenhouses and protect the seeds from things like wind, rain and critters. Germination rates are very high with WS--I've had 95-100% germination using recycled milk jugs. Winter sown plants are also much healthier and more robust than most nursery-grown plants. Check out the forum and if you have questions, ask away. The only dumb question is the one not asked.

I poke drainage holes with an ice pick

Cut the jug all the way around except leave an inch or so "hinge" just below the handle

Set the WS milk jugs outside where they'll get snowed/rained on

These are what my WS containers looked like in June 2011

Then after I potted them up toward the end of July

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 10:26AM
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Oh my goodness, that is amazing. I will have to try this. I think my kids will like it as well. All of your pictures are great.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 10:34AM
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Wow. That's a lot of jugs. I thought I was bad with 10. Just kidding. Don't make the mistake I did the first year...There is no need to plant the entire packet of seeds. LOL.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 12:26PM
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Yes, you really should do the winter sowing thing. Right now in your zone you can start with annuals for this year and perennials that don't need cold to start.

I can't say how things go at Georgia Swaps but around here we're just glad to pass on our extras to someone who will grow them rather than just toss them away.

We tell our beginners to just come, since they don't have plants bring other stuff to trade... like compost, gloves, nippers, bird houses, lotions, totes, anything that can be used by a gardener is likely to be willingly traded/exchanged for. Some people even bring baked goods to trade for plants.

So at least check it out.

Don't put down the plants you grow, there are some who do grow all the fancy stuff, but nearly everyone I know could use the old standbys as filler plants.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 12:29PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

boy i wish gardenweed would do her own post for us on the milk jugs.. or maybe link us to a post about such in the winter sowing forum ...

apparently.. we have been living parallel lives with milk jugs.. lol .. pic below of my indoor version ... for rooting conifer with bottom heat under lights ...

now.. back to the original premise.. i can think of not a single perennial that will not multiply ...

so when you say : I am looking for names of plants that multiply and come back every year.

===>> i would suggest that is nearly the definition of a perennial .... so i dont know why a list is needed ...


    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 4:43PM
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Ken - the key difference between your milk jug and mine is yours needs "bottom heat under lights" in order for the plant to grow, both of which require electricity. Winter sowing is all natural, doesn't cost any more than a bag of growers mix and leaves the growing part to Mother Nature. The added bonus is re-purposing recyclables. Once I set a milk jug with growers mix and seeds out in the snow/cold, Ma Nature is in charge and I'm off the payroll until the seeds germinate and pretty much until they're ready for planting out if it comes to that.

There is a post in the winter sowing forum about various ways to prep jugs. I'll try to find & link it. One beauty of winter sowing is, there is really no right or wrong way to prep a container. Containers can be anything that's deep enough, lets in sufficient light & has enough head room for top growth. I use an ice pick to poke drainage holes; others use a box cutter or soldering iron. Whatever works for each individual is fine. The most important thing is drainage so seeds don't rot + enough growers mix for healthy root development.

There are some amateur winter sowing videos on YouTube. They'll demonstrate what to do but I'd have to say they're not on a level with Roberts Rules of Order. 'Nuff said.

A couple years ago I tried growing ornamental dogwood trees from seeds I harvested at the office where I work. They sprouted and grew at the rate of 12-14 inches per year. A neighbor asked me to grow heirloom apple and pear tree seeds for him from trees he picked from as a boy in upstate Vermont. He gave me 4 apple tree seeds & 10 pear tree seeds in December 2010. I gave hime 4 apple tree seedlings & 10 pear tree seedlings in April 2011 to plant in his orchard. One benefit of winter sowing is amazingly high germination rates.

It was not my intent to steal the thread and turn it into a winter sowing testimonial. I just wanted the OP to be aware & consider WS as a USDA-approved way to economically/affordably fill her garden beds with flowering perennials as well as annuals, vines, vegetables, herbs, trees & shrubs.

Just today I noticed the potentilla/cinquefoil I winter sowed last year is up...

    Bookmark   March 8, 2012 at 6:50PM
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anitaz6(NE Okla)

Perennials that multiply well for me have been:
Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia), cone flower (Echinacea), most phlox paniculata cultivars, Japanese anemone , most of the older daylily cultivars clump up nicely, beebalm (Monarda), mums, penstemon 'Husker Red', shasta daisies, cannas. Some of those seed themselves about also.
The salvia 'Victoria Blue' is sold as an annual, but will survive for years here and seeds around.
And one that really increases is Mexican Petunia (Ruellia), especially if it's planted in rich soil with plenty of moisture.
Bluestone Perennials, High Country Gardens and Plant Delights are all good sources for mail order.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2012 at 12:19AM
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I guess when I said "multiply" I should have said somewhat quickly. I know with the daylilies I have, some multiply faster than others. I just wanted to see what plants others have had good luck with. Everyone here is a wealth of information.

I also have to read up on how to divide certain plants. I have a Shasta Daisy that looks like it could be divided, but while looking at it I wasn't sure how to go about it.

The pictures above of the winter sowing are amazing.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2012 at 6:35AM
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