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Perennial Production

Follow the instructions below and most plant varieties will be marketable for spring in 6-10 weeks from growth of new foliage.


Arrival of Your Shipment

Open the boxes immediately and inspect your shipment. Any shortages or damages must be reported within 5 business days of receipt. If you are unable to plant right away, we suggest the following:

  • Store your bare root perennials for a short time at a temperature
        between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Open the boxes for good air circulation to discourage surface mold
        growth. (surface mold is not harmful to firm and otherwise healthy
        looking roots and can be rinsed away prior to planting)
  • Plants such as Cerastigma, Delphinium, Echinacea, Perovskia, and
        other varieties may not have visible top growth when received. This
        does not mean the plants are dead. These cultivars emerge from root
        or tubers and are late to break dormancy. Be patient. To assist in their
        breaking of dormancy, night temperatures of 65-70 degrees will help.





Priority Plants

  • Begin by potting up the bare root perennials from your order, followed
        by the potted plants.
  • If your potted plants were shipped in mini greenhouses, remove the
        plants from the mini greenhouses and place the 
    plants in a lighted area
        at a temperature between 50 and 60 degrees.

Containers & Soils

  • Most varieties are ready to be put into 1 gallon pots. 
  • Use a well draining commercial potting mix with a low nutrient charge.
  • Take care in handling roots during planting process, they are living plants.
  • Roots should be firm, pliable, & can be soaked in a tub of room temperature
        water for up to 1 hour as you plant to re-hydrate the dormant roots.


Moisture Requirements

  • Water your newly potted perennials sparingly; over watering is a major cause
        of death among plants. 
  • Roots exposed to cold, wet conditions for extended periods of time are at risk
        for root rot.
  • However, pots should also not be allowed to dry completely between watering.

Temperature Requirements

  • It is important to keep recently transplanted perennials above freezing. Most importantly, keep pots from going through freeze-thaw cycles
        caused by daytime warming and nighttime freezing, which will surely kill your plants.
  • Mulch or place straw around pots to insulate and maintain more consistent temperatures. Begin growing in cool temperatures (45 F) for
        maximum root growth prior to new foliage emergence; this will ensure a strong, healthy, stocky plant rather than a spindly, weak, pale plant. 
  • After several weeks, slowly raise temperatures to 55-60 F to finish pots.  As temperatures moderate, pots can be moved outdoors.


  • Initial watering can be at 50-75ppm.
  • Begin feeding at 150ppm 2 weeks after planting and continue approximately every 10-14 days, alternating with clear water until plants reach
        saleable size.
  • Feed after that point only to keep plants green at 150ppm using a 14-0-14 alternated with 13-2-13 is optimal or similar formulation.
  • Under sunny conditions a 17-5-17 may be required. PPM may vary with different media so it is important to test.


  • Plants such as Artemisia, Coreopsis, and Echinacea are long day plants and need to be lighted from 10PM to 2AM to force properly.
  • If growth becomes excessive, lighting may be discontinued.

Our Spring 2023 Catalog is available! We have salesmen in most regions of the country. They would be happy to stop in and visit with you. Otherwise, for additional help, our customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday from 9AM to 4PM Eastern time - 1.800.78.TULIP.

Visit our perennial library for a full listing of perennials we carry.

Request A Catalog - Order a catalog online if you are not already on our mailing list.

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