Before you get to planting, it is important to understand what perennials even are. These flowers live for more than two years. Most bloom each spring and summer, die in the autumn and winter, and return in the spring (though there are some exceptions). And of course, just because you want a lush-looking garden come summer does not mean perennials are the way to go: The classic daylily, for instance, only blooms for one day.
Perennials are an excellent idea for just about any beginning gardener to become familiar with (they are also great for some types of vertical gardens).
This more compact yellow striped ornamental grass does not turn brown in the winter. It’s a great choice for year-round color or using as a spiky texture contrast for round flowers, and is also short enough to use in the front of a bed.
Zones 5-8; partial shade; blooms in May
Hosta could be an ideal choice for a small garden or even a container garden, particularly if you choose a more compact or dwarf variety (consider hosta “Mouse Ears,” for instance). Alternatively, you can use these flowers for big, splashy summer displays that will come back year after year.
Zones 3-9; needs minimal sun; blooms summer to fall
These winter-blooming perennials thrive even in dry shade, and they are both deer and slug resistant. New varieties come in a rainbow of beautiful colors. Some even have double flowers that look more like roses than hellebores.
Zones 6-9; partial shade ideal; blooms between December and April
Drought-resistant lavender will be the star of your bed! Hotter summers and less rain mean these are a great plant to consider for any garden. There is even a new variety of lavender called “Platinum Blonde” that features fun yellow stripes in the foliage.
Zones 5-9; full sun; blooms late spring to early summer
While most perennials will bloom during the summer months, these will add beauty to your yard throughout the fall. You can find them in a variety of hues to add just the right pop of color to your garden.
Zones 3-8; full sun; blooms mid-summer to fall
Purple Coneflowers (Echinacea purpurea)
Native to North America, these classic flowers will produce beautiful blooms starting in early June and lasting until the first frost in your area. You will love the variety of other colors they come in, in addition to their durability and longevity.
Zones 3-8; full sun/partial shade; blooms summer
Nicknamed the “sure bet” and “perfect perennial,” these colorful flowers are perfect for beginners because they can survive through almost anything and require little maintenance. While the buds will only bloom for one day, each stem typically grows several blooms that will flourish at different times.
Zones 2-9; full sun/partial shade; blooms early- to mid-summer
Grow these blue and purple blooms in your yard and you will see them soar to new heights every year. Once they have bloomed, cut them and bring inside to display in a vase, and you’ll see new petals in no time.
Zones 3-9; full sun; blooms early- to mid-summer
These colorful perennial shrubs will grow back fuller and larger each year, so be sure to plant them in an area with plenty of space to flourish and grow.
Zones 5-9; partial shade/full shade; blooms mid-summer to fall
These stunning flowers are incredibly fragrant, full, and fluffy. They can last for decades in the right conditions. While pink tends to be the most popular, white, lavender, and coral hues are just as gorgeous.
Zones 3-8; full sun; blooms spring to early summer
If a statement is what you are after, opt for these summer flowers, which come in bold shades of pink, purple, red, and crisp white.
Zones 4-8; full sun; blooms early summer to fall
These autumnal beauties are easy to grow, don’t require much maintenance, and are drought resistant making them a durable and long-lasting addition to your landscape.
Zones 3-9; full sun; blooms mid-summer to early fall
Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum × superbum)
These cute flowers bloom in early spring, but if you cut them back in time, you can expect more blooms to crop up in early autumn. (The marguerite daisy—or “Paris daisy”—is another option.)
Zones 3-8; full sun/partial shade; blooms summer
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
If you need to fill up a space fast, yarrow will help your garden or yard feel full rather quickly. And since they come in so many different colors—pink, red, yellow, white, purple, peach, and orange—you can choose the best shades to complement your home’s palette.
Zones 3-8; full sun; blooms summer
Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis)
Also known as White Wings, this plant’s silver-spotted leaves create a distinct foundation for bell-shaped white flowers that reach heights of up to a foot.
Zones 3-9; partial shade; blooms early- to mid-spring
Speedwell (Veronica umbrosa)
Just six or so inches tall, this diminutive variety also known as Georgia Blue boasts loose clusters of electric blue blooms that last until summer.
Zones 4-9; full sun; blooms early- to mid-spring
Pinks (Dianthus gratianopolitanus)
The itty-bitty pink blossoms on this low-growing plant emit a delightful clove scent.
Zones 3-9; full sun; blooms late spring to early summer
Cranesbill (Geranium sanguineum)
This 12- to 18-inch-tall geranium also known as Alpenglow produces magenta flowers and velvety foliage that turns crimson in fall.
Zones 4-8; partial shade; blooms late spring to early summer
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