Bellflower Nursery supplies a wide range of hardy perennials as bare-root plants which are sent out while they are dormant, in Autumn and Winter. Mail order is now available, click here to browse.
To explain – from late autumn till the end of winter, a herbaceous perennial plant will shut down its top growth (the foliage) and concentrate on making roots and shoots below the soil’s surface. By spring, when the growing season begins, the plant will have settled in (the technical term is ‘established’) and be ready to put all the energy it made below ground into its emerging spring shoots.
Benefits of buying plants this way are:
• reduced costs of postage and packaging,
• no plastic pots
• improved establishment.
As long as the bare-root perennials are planted in frost-free soil – avoid prolonged cold spells and snow – then planting can be done between late October till around the end of March. If planting cannot take place when plants arrive, either ‘heel them in’ (plant them so the roots are covered in a temporary place, perhaps in the corner of the vegetable patch), or cover the plants’ roots with compost in pots or trays, just until the ground thaws.