Late-Appearing Perennials

Red milkweed blooming last summer

Stop Worrying!

Stop worrying! Less than 3 weeks ago we still had a little snow on the ground. Now most days it feels like summer, and I find myself hovering over places where favorite perennials should be up and growing. But not all perennials are up, or they are barely showing their noses.

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What can you do? For starters, gently brush away leaves or mulch on the soil surface where perennials should be appearing. That will allow the sun and warm breezes to bring up temperatures. Blue balloon flower (Platycodon grandiflorus), for example, is one perennial that is always late to show up. Mine have not yet appeared.

Blue balloon flowers, which bloom in August, are not up yet.

A nice clump of swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) is barely showing little green shoots in my garden, and I am yet to see the common milkweed I started last year from seed. Most importantly, my showy ladyslippers (Cypripedium reginae) only showed one little green nose this week. A yellow ladyslipper and a white showy ladyslipper have not yet shown up.

My showy ladyslipper orchid has finally shown a sprout!

Gardening is fun, and it should not be stress-inducing. So I tell myself those late arrivals will come along. And if they don’t? Well, that just means there are places to plant new flowers! 

A real tasty spring treat is in the woods now. Learn how to identify, grow and eat ramps, or wild leeks by clicking here. 

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