Flowering plants that live for three years or longer are called perennials or perennial flowers. Perennials are either short or long-lived. The short-lived plants live for approximately three to five years while long-lived perennials may have an indefinite life span. Examples of perennial flowers include the hyacinth, daffodils, Iris, and day lilies. Although these plants appear to die, the roots of the plant remain alive and healthy during the winter months.
Care for perennial flowers is very similar to the care provided for annuals. They must be watered and fertilized according to the season and the needs of the particular variety of flower. Deadheading, staking, and pinching are also a part of the care requirements for these types of flowering plants. Perennials must also receive care during the fall and winter months to ensure their survival. Prior to an expected hard freeze, gardeners should deeply water their perennial as it will help to protect the plant from the effects of cold and dry winds. Mulching is beneficial during both warm and extremely cold weather conditions. During the warm months, mulching can help keep the plant hydrated and the soil cool. During freezing weather conditions, applying mulch over frozen ground will help to protect its roots. Every two to four years, some perennials also require division. This involves splitting apart larger plants into smaller ones to keep them healthy and to maintain a healthy amount of blooms.