Half-hardy perennials – more info

Half-hardy perennials like dahlias provide that wow factor in the summer border. With a bit of careful attention to frost-proofing your half-hardy plants during winter, you can expect to see blooms returning every year. Some tuberous half-hardy perennials like dahlia die back in winter and require lifting and storing in a frost-free place. The tropical ornamental red banana musa sikkimensis ‘Ever Red’ keeps their top growth, so just needs a wrap of frost protective fabric or bubble wrap to keep it cosy.

What is a half hardy perennial?

A half-hardy perennial is a frost-tender plant that needs protection in the winter in the UK. With careful frost protection these plants will live in the garden for many years. ‘Half-hardy perennials’ is a term that includes a large proportion of classic garden favourites from a range of plant families with a mix of flower types and foliage.

Which half-hardy perennials are suitable for shade?

Many half-hardy perennials are suitable for shade. Partial shade lovers include fuchsia and banana palms. Full shade lovers in this category include hostas and begonias.

Which half-hardy perennials grow well in pots?

Growing your perennials in pots means you can move them indoors in the winter months without any messy digging. Most will grow very well in pots. Choose a heavy bottomed container and good quality compost, making sure that your pot is only slightly larger than the plant's root ball to avoid swamping the roots in compost.

Callistemon makes a striking half-hardy pot plant. This australian native flowers with fiery sprays giving it the nickname ‘the bottlebrush’. Bees love this half-hardy shrub. Mangave is another spectacular perennial for a pot. The architectural leaf spikes bring structure to a patio and are wonderfully low maintenance. It’s a good idea to nip the sharp tip of each leaf off to prevent any scratches down the line.

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