Perennial Gardening: Site Selection

Site selection is the first step in planning a successful perennial garden. Take stock of your environmental conditions to see where an optimal site might be. Ease of access, proximity to outdoor living areas, and visibility from within the home are other factors to be considered. A perennial garden may also be a focal feature in the landscape, unrelated to indoor living areas.

Locate the perennial garden so it can be accessed from at least two sides. This makes it easier to maintain. Most perennials require abundant sunshine  – approximately 10 hours of sunlight during the longest days of summer. Shade-loving perennials such as ferns, bleeding heart and hostas need much less sunlight or filtered shade.


Air circulation is important to avoid diseases. Still, warm, humid air creates ideal conditions for diseases such as powdery mildew to develop. See fact sheet 2.902, Powdery Mildews, for more information. To minimize disease problems, give perennials adequate space where air circulates well.

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