Van Chaplin

Long-Living Plants

The honest answer is no, but read on. Every perennial has its own personality, and once you know what to expect, success is easy. The stunning mid-summer combination at left includes 'Common Purple' summer phlox, yellow coneflowers, and sun-loving chartreuse coleus. The original 'Miss Huff' lantana has been going strong for almost 50 years in the same location, and peonies last a very long time with minimal maintenance.

Other perennials are more transient and must be rejuvenated every few years to stay vigorous. Short-lived choices such as ox-eye daisies (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum) and gloriosa daisies (Rudbeckia hirta) live 2 to 3 years. They need to reseed or be replaced to perpetuate. On the other hand, a daylily might live 10 to 12 years but should be divided every 3 to 5 years.

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