Most perennials spend their first year after sprouting just establishing
themselves, building some roots and setting the stage for their mature
performance. Many will bloom in their second year, although some herbaceous
perennials, and even more of the woody ones, will wait even longer to
display their flowers.
The list below is for impatient gardeners (aren't we all?) who like to
get at least a preview of ultimate performance earlier. Each of the plants
in the table below has bloomed for me in its first year of life. In most
cases, the blooms are not nearly as abundant or large as they will be in
years to follow.
Note that I start most of my perennials indoors, starting in early winter.
Many of the plants listed would not bloom if started outdoors in spring, or
if wintersown to sprout when temperatures warm up - at least not in our zone
6 garden. Some of the plants are show-offs that start blooming already under
the growlights in my basement (no doubt because of the artificial 14-hour days
that those lights provide). Others are tender perennials that are grown as
annuals in our climate - they'd better bloom in their first year, or they'd be
rather useless as ornamental flowering plants!
The list below is sorted in order of botanical name. Click on the plant's
name to go to page for that plant. Plant portraits (where I have photos on the
page) are indicated with the symbol.
Visitors to this page have left the following comments
|Mary Beth||Nov 28, 2006||This is such a great page, Rob. I so wish that more seed companies would include information regarding the number of years until bloom. This is so helpful when planning layouts in a garden. You have included here so many that I would like to try since I also am an impatient gardener. What is the earliest date that you start your perennial seeds in zone 6?|
I try to time perennials so that germination occurs between mid-January and mid-March (earlier for the ones that are slow to grow, later for the growth engines. That means actually starting some as early as October, if they require lengthy cold conditioning or temperature cycling.
|darlene||Feb 26, 2008||This is a great website. I see that it has not been updated from 2006. two years ago. It'd be nice to see some updated info. especially when your website is so helpful.|
Actually, it's just the words on this page that haven't been updated since 2006; the plant database has been updated many times since then, so there are plenty of new "fast perennials" on this page :-)
|Nona||Mar 01, 2009||Ha,ha,haaaaa! Just a minute I found your site. Mary Beth's comments of how wonderful to have a list of number of years until bloom so she could plan "layouts" in her garden. And then there is me -- I just realized I am now planning my own "layout" in the gardens of Memorial Park Cemetary!! As I said -- ha, ha .... I came to realize a couple of weeks ago when I had BIG #75 yrs. that I'd better rethink the number of eyes on a tuber, and, indeed, the bloom time of my seeds. So we both thank you so very much - let's hope Heavenly Father has a place for us to work in His gardens. Bye for now....|
|Diane||May 23, 2009||I'd love to trade some Linaria dalmatica seeds if you have some. I've just fallen in love with the pink one and found it very happy in extra dry hot conditions . and The Hummingbirds are thrilled. |
I've none of the linaria seeds left, I'm afraid...
|cheryl||Feb 12, 2015||I dont see the list of perennials that bloom the first year. i see a header but no list follows. am i doing something wrong, or is there a problem with the website that the list is not displaying?|
Thanks for reporting the problem, Cheryl. I have fixed it now.
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February 13, 2015