There might be a chill in the air, but there are plenty of tough, hardy perennials that can be planted out in the garden in February.
By planting while the ground is wetter, you can spend less time watering your plantings, and give them more time to settle in. That said, waterlogged soils will need to be improved with some horticultural grit before planting. If you’re gardening in shade, you could try planting one of our top 10 shade-loving perennial plants.
Discover our perennial picks for planting in February, including plants with architectural and wildlife value, below.
Lupins are available in a huge array of colours, from the crimson ‘My Castle’, to the ivory-flowered ‘Cashmere Cream’. A sunny position is best, though they will tolerate partial shade, and you should plant them in free-draining soil. Watch out for slugs and snails, and keep deadheading the blooms for more flowers.
Tall crimson blooms of lupin ‘My Castle’
Hardy geraniums, also known as cranesbills, are tremendously useful plants to have in the garden. The flowers will last for months, providing plenty of food for pollinators, and they’re easy to grow. They can also be grown in sun or shade. These robust plants will adapt to suit most soils, except those that are waterlogged.
Pink-lined white flowers of a hardy geranium or cranesbill
Tall with metallic blue pompom-shaped flower heads, globe thistles (Echinops) are wonderfully architectural plants. They grow best in poor, well-drained soils, sited in full sun, though they’re tolerant of other soils. Varieties to grow include the deep blue ‘Veitch’s Blue’, or the woolly-stemmed ‘Taplow Blue’.
Vivid-blue spiky-globe flowers of Echinops ‘Veitch’s Blue’
Reliable and vigorous, Japanese anemones will are ideally suited to borders, blending well with other plants and adding height and structure. They dislike being transplanted, so try to plant in a spot where this is unlikely to be needed. Grow them in partial shade, under trees is perfect, in moist, well-drained soil.
Japanese anemone flowers: pale pink petals around golden centres
Another perennial suited to dappled shade beneath trees, Acanthus spinosus, or bears breeches, form impressive clumps, with large, glossy leaves and towering flower spikes, which appear from late-spring to late-summer. Bound to make an impression, plant in fertile, well-drained soil and give them lots of room to grow.
Glossy dark leaves and tall flowers spikes of Acanthus spinosus, or bears’ breeches