After adding up my plant nursery bills one spring, I decided to cut costs and labor by putting in more perennials.

With a little mulching, most perennials survive our mild winters to return in the spring.

LSU AgCenter horticulturists recommend esperanza, Pride of Barbados and cassava for planting now.

Esperanza, also known as Tecoma, blooms until killing frost. Slightly taller than wide, esperanza grows to 5 or 6 feet and makes flowers of yellow or orange.

Pride of Barbados, scientific name Caesalpinia, is seen a lot in Houston, San Antonio and Austin, Texas. When Louisiana nurseries stock them, the plants sell quickly. The plants make orange-red flowers and seed pods similar to beans. Pride of Barbados can reach a height of 8 feet.

Cassava is a tropical shrubbery perennial. Its scientific name is Manihot.