1. Which perennials bloom all summer? Few bloom all summer, but many have long bloom
seasons such as Coreopsis, Scabiosa, Hemerocallis (daylilies), and Asters,
among others. All will bloom for about 12 weeks with regular deadheading.
Mixing perennials with different bloom times will give your bed color all year
2. Can perennials be combined with
annuals? Yes, annuals can be very
useful in perennial beds while you are waiting for perennials to fill in. They
are also useful in adding season long color in areas where perennials may have
a shorter bloom period.
3. Which perennials thrive in shade? Ajuga, Hosta, Aquilegia (Columbines),
Astilbe, Helleborus, Heuchera, Hydrangea, Lamium, Ferns, plus many more.
4. What can I plant safely in my mountain
garden? Plants classified Zone 2 or
Zone 3 can be safely planted at high altitudes. In warmer or protected areas of
your garden, Zone 4 plants are a possibility. Spring planting is preferable to
fall for proper establishment of root systems. Plants to try: Columbines,
Campanulas, Centaurea, Daylilies, Delphinium, Hostas, Peonies and Rudbeckia.
5. When do I know when it is time to
divide my perennials? Some need
division every three years, some every four or five years. Some need never be
divided. When you see crowded growth and blooms seems to diminish, it's usually
time to divide.
6. What is the best time of the year to
divide and/or transplant my perennials?
Early blooming perennials are best divided in late summer or fall; late
or fall blooming perennials divide best in the spring.
7. Should I cut my perennials back in the
fall or spring? Generally it is a
good idea to cut back dead foliage in the fall to prevent pest and disease
organisms from wintering over in dead and decaying foliage. Some plants will
retain upright form and provide winter interest to the garden. Also, don’t
forget the value of winter foliage for nesting birds.
8. Can I mulch my flower garden with
leaves in the fall? Yes, you may
want to shred the leaves with a mower for a neater look and better blending
with soil. Avoid layering leaves so deeply that water cannot penetrate the
9. Why don't my perennials look as full
and nice as those in website photographs?
Is there something wrong? Newly
planted perennials take about three years to mature to their full height and
spread. Be patient. A general rule with
perennials is: first year they sleep, second year the creep, third year they
10. When is the best time to plant
perennials? Generally, container grown perennials can safely be planted in
the spring and continuing through the fall depending on the variability of the
weather conditions from year to year. Some hardy varieties may be planted in
early spring and late fall, again depending on the weather pattern. Fall is
also a great time to plant and provide a head-start for your perennials come spring.
Try to plant at least four weeks prior to expected first frost.
11. Will late snow hurt my perennials that
have started to emerge? Generally speaking, plants come out of dormancy as
weather permits them. Occasionally, they
may find themselves buried in the late snow.
Broken stems and frozen blooms may result. Prune back broken or frozen areas and they
12. What should I do when my perennials stop
blooming? Generally, you should
prune back the stems which will give the plant a cleaner neater appearance. It
may also encourage it to re-bloom. Continue maintaining the foliage to promote
the health of the plant and wait for the following years show. Consider
attractive foliage as much as you do beautiful bloom.
13. Are perennials easier to grow than
annuals? They present different
challenges to gardeners. Many will live
many years with little or no maintenance. Others may require a watchful eye for
division, or better location. Because
they remain in the garden for more than one season, they are often more
rewarding to the gardener for his or her efforts towards them. There is also
nothing better than watching perennials emerge from their sleep as spring
14. What should I do following a devastating
hailstorm? Carefully clean debris
out of the garden and cut back damaged plants.
Hail will often severely compact the soil, so it needs to be cultivated
carefully and some organic material lightly amended into it. Avoid any application of fertilizer until
plants are once again showing signs of renewed growth. Be patient: the garden will renew itself.
15. What causes powdery mildew? Powdery mildew is a fungus common in late
summer with our cool nights and warm days.
It may also attack when foliage is excessively wet or plants are
over-crowded preventing air circulation.
Avoid overhead sprinkling and space your plants properly. Fungicide applications are only effective as
a preventive measure. They are of limited value once an outbreak has occurred.
16. How should I mulch my perennials? Shredded cedar mulch or mini nuggets are
great mulches. Spread about 3"
deep. Avoid mulching too close to crowns
of plants to avoid crown rot. Peat moss and compost are best as
amendments. Used as mulch, they may form
a crust which prevents water from penetrating the soil.
17. How should I fertilize my perennials? Early in the season, following a light
cultivation, a general application of a well balanced fertilizer is usually
adequate. An additional application in the middle of the growing season will
help long and late blooming perennials look their best.
1. When and how should I cut back
ornamental grasses? Leave them
standing over the winter—they add interest to the winter scene and the crown of
the plant benefits from the extra protection. In early spring, before new
growth begins, cut the plant down to 4 to 6 inches tall. Use shears, or for
thick stems use loppers. A scythe comes in handy for very large stands of
grasses. To tidy up low evergreen fescues and the like, gently rake out the
dead leaves using your fingers or a hand fork.
2. I have a clump of miscanthus [or other
clumping grass] that looks healthy at its outer edges but there’s a dead patch
at the center. What is wrong and what should I do? This is normal behavior. To improve the
plant’s appearance, lift it from the soil and divide it. Discard the dead
section and replant the divisions more toward center. This can be done in
spring, before the plant starts growing, or in fall, after growth stops. Spring
is a better choice if you’re dealing with a plant that blooms in late summer
and has decorative seedheads.
3. Should I feed ornamental grasses? Ornamental grasses do not require nearly as
much fertilizer as other perennials and shrubs. In fact, too much nitrogen can
give them a rangy, floppy look, since nitrogen spurs foliage growth. Don’t feed
your grasses, or if you feel that you must, choose a balanced, slow-release
fertilizer and apply it at half-strength in early spring. Note—with many
drought-tolerant grasses the same can be said for water. Like any plant, they
need good water their first season in the garden, while they put down roots and
get established. In subsequent years, however, supplemental water can make them
grow too quickly and become floppy.
4. I love ornamental grasses, but most of
the ones I see are labeled for sun. Will any survive in my shady landscape? There are not many shade-tolerant ornamental
grasses available, but there are some good ones!
One to look for is Japanese forest grass, Hakonechloa macra.
Usually you will find the golden form, ‘Aureola’, which makes a flowing mound.
Though this grass is also listed as one for sunny areas, it resents full sun in
the South and adjusts well to shade there.
You may also try river oats, Chasmanthium latifolium,
sometimes called inland sea oats. This knee-high native grass occurs naturally
in shade, often along streams. While a lovely, graceful plant, its effect is
rather wispy—it does not make large clumps.
You may wish to investigate sedges (Carex), which are not
true grasses but look very similar to them. Many of them tolerate or even require
shade. They are generally smaller in stature, but many of them do make
distinctively shaped mounds similar to some of the ornamental grasses.
Sweet flags (Acorus) are also grass-like in habit. They like
shade, wet or dry. Both sweet flags and sedges make fine container plants. They
can be used as companions for pansies in cool seasons and paired later with
5. Should I prune my sedges (Carex)? How
and when? You can prune your sedges
(Carex) to keep them within bounds. To do it, gather up the leaves in one hand
and, using a pair of scissors, cut off the top third, including the long
flowering stems. This will leave the plant arching out gracefully, but not
trailing along the ground. It may be necessary to do this twice a year: at the
beginning and end of the summer.
Sedge is not a true grass, but looks similar to ornamental
grasses. Many sedges have attractive warm tan, brown or reddish foliage. They
will tolerate some shade, while many ornamental grasses require full sun.
1. How can I order plants from your
Buy Plants Online
Our website provides for secure ordering. Browse our website
and select plants by adding to the shopping cart. When your selection of plants
to buy is complete, go to the Checkout page. Our minimum order is $10 per shipment.
Santa Rosa Gardens would be happy to take your telephone
order. Please call (850) 202-4899. Payment must be arranged at the time of
order, so have your credit card handy.
2. Do you offer a print catalog? As part of our commitment to conserving
resources and saving you money, we do not offer our plant catalog in print! If
we mailed every customer a print catalog, we would have to print more than
eight million pages…most of which ultimately end up in a landfill. One of the
reasons we are able to offer such low prices is that we save money by not
printing and mailing a catalog. Our website is our catalog. Our catalog on the
net is constantly updated and fresh with exciting new plant varieties.
3. Can I visit your nursery and gardens?
Santa Rosa Gardens is strictly mail
order and is not licensed or setup for walk-in customers.. Our greenhouses and
farm are a growing, working facility. We do offer occasional tours through the
local Master Gardeners Association. Thanks for understanding!
4. How long has Santa Rosa Gardens been in
business? We have been selling
perennials and specialty plants via mail-order since 1998. Our roots in the
nursery industry run much deeper and our family is the fourth generation of
greenhouse growers/farmers – dating back to the late 1800’s.
5. Do you grow your own plants? Yes, we are a busy, active nursery with
greenhouses full of beautiful plants. Occasionally, we’ll buy in stock to try
out new varieties, but most of what we offer online was grown in our
greenhouses or at our farm.