Perennials, best time to plant and how to care for


When is the best time to plant fall poppies, sweet marjoram and chives and how do you care for them?


Chive is a hardy herb, and can be planted in spring, summer or fall. It likes ordinary garden soil, and will produce leaves longer if planted in sun or part sun and regularly watered. But, really, it’s an unfussy plant. The flowers can be picked and the florets (tiny, individual flowers in the pompom-shaped flower head) are also edible, and look pretty scattered in salads. You can increase your stock of chives by dividing and replanting the root ball of an established plant in spring.

Sweet marjoram is best planted outdoors in spring, as it is a tender perennial, meaning it won’t survive the winter in our climate. That being said, you can pot it up and try growing it indoors in a cool, sunny window during the wintertime. It’s a native of the Mediterranean, and needs good drainage and full sun. Imagine it growing on a sunny slope, and you’ll get the idea.

Toronto Master Gardeners web site has a fact sheet on growing herbs that can be found at

Poppies are planted according to how they are purchased.  Bare root poppies are planted in the fall, potted poppies can be planted as long as the ground is not frozen, and if using seed the best time to plant is spring. Always follow the directions when planting by seed.

Good luck with your herbs.