. .
Take the Quiz

Is There a Place for Self-seeding Perennials in Your Garden?

planting ideas starting a garden

Have you plants that bring back memories? Plants you have got from your family and friends? They might often be self-seeding perennials.


What Does Having a Self-seeding Perennial Mean in a Garden Setting?

I also have several self-seeding perennials in our garden - columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris) is one of the cutest.

We brought the first columbine into our garden from my husband's family home. It was growing in a narrow strip beside the stairs. I gently removed it and transplanted it 200 miles south from its original growing place.

Columbine or granny’s bonnet is a self-seeding plant that can appear in any planting area of the garden. I plant our columbine in a flowerbed in semi-shade on the backyard. Now the next generations can be seen around to garden from back to front.

When you plant self-seeders into your garden, you can expect them to pop up everywhere where there might be suitable growing conditions for them. In other words, they won't stay just where you had planted them.



Self-seeding Perennials Add the Element of Surprise to Your Garden

Having self-seeding perennials growing in your garden gives many pleasant surprises.

  • Self-seeding plants that grow randomly between other, thoughtfully planted perennials and shrubs bring the natural feel into your garden.
  • You'll get new plant combinations you might not have thought about, and
  • They inhabit places that otherwise might be accommodated by weeds.

The self-seeding plants are your best friends when you're just starting your garden and need fast-growing plants to fill those empty awkward areas between newly planted shrubs and perennials. You can call the self-seeders 'infill plants'.

Besides being randomly scattered around the garden, self-seeding plants like our columbines can offer charming and unexpected color combinations. Our first columbine was a soft pink. Now we have them from white to the lightest pink possible and into the blueish violets. Their colors are charming, delicate pastel variations.



How to Garden with Self-seeding Perennials?

You can have different points of view on this:

  • you're going to be totally 'au naturel' and let them seed and thrive wherever they are happily growing. (This is my husband.) or
  • you could be organized, manage them tightly and replant where you want them to grow. (I'm not this one - I'm more like a hybrid.)

So I'm standing somewhere in the middle of this dilemma. I love the natural effect that self-seeders can give to your garden, but I'm also ready to remove or transplant the ones growing in a totally 'wrong' place, or if there's too much of them. (This is not a problem with our columbines - with some other self-seeding plants: yes!)

Warm recommendation: Columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris) is such a charming self-seeding plant to have in your garden. It is perfect from full sun to semi-shaded areas, on the woodland edge planting, and between other lower-growing perennials.

And it brings back sweet memories.





Turn your Pinterest board full of garden dreams into reality with a set of solid guidelines to follow. It takes only 3 minutes, but the results will serve you for a lifetime.