The main advantage of perennial flowers is their longevity. Once you plant these beautiful, fragrant plants in your garden, you will enjoy abundant, colorful flourishing without much effort. You won’t need to think about seeds and right conditions for propagation every single year.
Of course, all perennials are not the same. A few of them live just a few years, but some of them will stay at the same place for decades. Therefore, one of the essential issues is to find an appropriate place for your flowers. Once established, most of them won’t tolerate transplanting. Choose wisely and make an excellent combination of colors. After that, you can enjoy pure beauty for a long time. Let’s see your best options.
Table of Contents
1. Money Plant (Lunaria annua)
Money plant (Silver Dollar, annual honesty) is well-known because of the unique silvery-white flattened seed pods appreciated as a part of dried arrangements. However, I adore its beautiful clusters of white, lavender, or violet flowers appearing in spring.
The history of this 35 inches (89 cm) tall plant is fantastic. The Pilgrims brought it to America on the Mayflower. Also, it was the favorite flower of Thomas Jefferson growing it in his famous gardens of Monticello.
Once you decide to grow Money plant originated in Balkans and Asia, you will discover the absence of any instructions. The reason is that most gardeners take care of it the same way as they look after annoying weeds. What a pity!
2. Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
Black-Eyed Susan is an attractive, up to 3 feet (0.9 m) tall flower with a black ‘eye’ surrounded by vibrant yellow petals. As a pollinator-friendly plant blooming from June to September, it attracts bees and butterflies.
Even though it is native to the Americas, it is naturalized in China nowadays. A native wildflower has lovely yellow petals around a brown center, but new hybrids bloom in all shades of yellow, orange, and even red.
Avoid deadheading wilted flowers since this is a self-sowing plant. Plus, its seeds are a valuable source of food for birds living in your garden.
3. Poppy (Papaver spp)
Poppy is an extraordinary clump-forming plant well-known for attractive red, white, yellow, or orange flowers with a mysterious dark center. It is standard offerings to the dead in Greek and Roman traditions but also represents a promise of resurrection.
There are about 120 different varieties of this flower in the world, but one of the most famous is the Flanders poppy, a symbol of the memory of soldiers who died in World War II. Not to mention Papaver somniferum, a source of opium.
You can pick out any dwarf variety for your garden, or enjoy classical one, which can reach from 2 to 4 feet (61 cm – 1.2 m) in height. Many chefs use the seeds for making cookies, but you should be careful. The seeds of most species are not edible, and other parts of this plant are highly poisonous.
4. Giant Allium (Allium giganteum)
Giant allium is a beautiful ornamental plant well-known as a giant onion. You will adore its striking large white, lilac, purple, blue, or mauve blossoms on 5 feet (1.5 m) tall stems. Since this plant is deer resistant and unattractive to rodents, it is an ideal choice to beautify borders of your garden.
In the late 1800s, Russian botanists started collecting these plants. As a result, we have more than 700 different types of alliums in the world nowadays. Their 6 to 8 inches (15 – 20 cm) large flower heads bloom from May to August, depending on the variety you decide to grow.
5. Bleeding Heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis)
Bleeding heart is a flower originated in Siberia, Japan, China, and Korea. Plant hunter Robert Fortune brought this 45 inches (1.2 m) high plant from the poppy family to England in 1840s.
Most gardeners choose it because of gorgeous, heart-shaped white and pink blooms appearing in spring. Every arch of horizontal stems contains approximately twenty overhanging flowers with fuchsia-pink outer petals while inner ones are pure white.
The best of all is that this plant can thrive in shady parts of your yard where most flowering plants fail. Most of them will die after blooming and return the following spring. However, you can pick out a hybrid plant which doesn’t go dormant and can flourish for weeks.
6. Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)
Russian sage is a 1.5 to 4 feet (46 cm – 1.2 m) tall sub-shrub, which originates in Central Asia. Spiky clusters of blue to violet flowers appear from summer to the end of October. They are arranged along branched panicles and surrounded by fragrant grey-green foliage on square stems.
It should be your plant of choice if you live in a hot, dry region. Among others, it is an excellent ground cover for open parts of your garden, which requires low-maintenance. The only thing you should do annually is to prune your plant to prevent too aggressive growth.
Since this exotic flower is drought-tolerant, you should avoid planting it in the area with high humidity and the soggy ground. When you grow your plant in the alkaline soil and adequate weather conditions, you can expect long-lasting blooming in return.
7. Salvia (Salvia nemorosa)
Salvia (Balkan clary, woodland sage) is an attractive purple, violet, violet-blue, white, yellows, or pink blooming perennial with velvety foliage on square stems. Since Carl Linnaeus described this flower, native to Europe and Asia, for the first time in 1762, it became trendy.
Propagating and growing Salvia is quite simple. If you add it to your garden and deadhead regularly, you will enjoy its flourishing throughout the summer. An added benefit is that tubular flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds, which may make your yard a fantastic butterfly garden.
8. Cranesbill geranium (Geranium spp)
Since there are 422 species of this flower, you can quickly find the one thriving abundantly in the conditions prevailing in the region where you live. I adore blooms with five white, pink, blue, or purple petals surrounded by long, cleft, circular foliage.
On average, Geranium can reach about 3 feet (91.5 cm) in height. You can use large leaves of this plant as camouflage for unsightly parts of your yard.
Keep in mind that this plant has a specific mechanism for the propagation of seeds. When the beak-like column (a part of the flower) matures, it opens and begins casting the seeds around. It is crucial to know this if you want to avoid self-seeding.
9. Hortensia (Hydrangea spp)
All 70 to 75 species of this 3.5 to 10 feet (1 – 3 m) tall shrub originated in the Americas and Asia (Japan, Korea, and China). Among them, there are some dwarf trees as well as huge, 100 feet (30.5 m) tall lianas climbing up trees.
Current name Hydrangea is actually the Greek word meaning ‘water vessel,’ which describes the shape of flowers’ seed capsules. Its older name Hortensia was a Latinised version of the name of the French clockmaker Jean-André Lepaute’s wife – Hortense.
White, rose, pink, lavender, or purple flowers form fantastic bouquets on the shrub growing over the years consistently. Therefore, take care to provide enough space for it. There is one more surprise. If you are the lucky one you will get different colors of blooming on the same shrub every spring and summer!
10. Lavender (Lavandula spp)
Nowadays, we can recognize 47 species of Lavender originated in Europe, Africa, Asia, the Canary Islands, and Cape Verde. Gardeners grow most of them as a culinary herb, remedy, ornamental plant, or for the extraction of essential oils.
That sun-loving shrub is prized for unique purple spikes with flowers and heavenly scent. Approximately 2 to 3 feet (61 – 91.5 cm) tall square stems are full of narrow leaves, covered in fine hairs, throughout the year.
Enjoy blooming of this exotic plant from June to August. Prune and deadhead your lovely shrub regularly to preserve a compact shape and promote optimal flourishing.
11. Lily (Lilium)
Most varieties of Lily require low maintenance and won’t make troubles even to beginners. You will love these six large, trumpet-shaped, strikingly marked petals (tepals) on tall stems with the narrow, lance-shaped foliage. Flowers are usually white, gold, orange, pink, or red.
The most popular varieties among gardeners are definitely:
- Oriental lily – You will adore that flower on the 4 feet (1.2 m) long stem, famous for its recognizable, seductive fragrance. It starts blooming from mid-summer to the beginning of autumn.
- Asiatic lily – It is a shorter, approximately 2 to 3 feet (61 – 91.5 cm) tall variety. Their scent is not too strong, but bright colors of exotic blooms will beautify your garden in June.
12. English Daisy (Bellis perennis)
English daisy is a perennial herbaceous flower, which leafless stems can reach from 3 to 6 inches (7.6 – 15 cm) height. It originated in Europe, but it has been naturalized in the Americas and Australasia for decades. Most people like these white, pink, or red flowers surrounding yellow disks in the center.
Unfortunately, many gardeners treat this self-seeding plant as invasive weeds. Sometimes, English daisy may cause problems because it grows throughout the lawns without control. It may become almost impossible to eradicate it.
However, I like this plant because of composite flower heads consisting of yellow disc florets surrounded by lovely white petals tipped with red. They may reach approximately 0.75 to 1.25 inches (1.9 – 3 cm) in diameter.
13. Daylily (Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus)
The name of this plant comes from the Greek words meaning ‘day’ and ‘beautiful.’ It is literally true because these fragrant flowers last no more than a day. You can enjoy their opening early in the morning and to say ‘goodbye’ when they wither at night. However, there are a few buds on each stems flourishing at a different time.
Over 80,000 of recognized species originated in Japan, China, and Korea. They are an ideal choice for novices because these hardy, 4 feet (1.2 m) tall plants require very little maintenance.
If you decide to grow Daylilies in your garden, you will enjoy their blooming from spring to autumn, depending on the species you choose. Keep in mind that this flower is highly toxic to cats. If your pet swallows any part of the plant, the outcome is likely to be fatal.
14. Purple Coneflower (Echinacea Purpurea)
Purple Coneflower is a real North American flower blooming from early June to the moment when the first frost begins in the region. This long-lived plant prefers growing in full sun and partial shade in dry prairies. For centuries, people use it as a remedy and birds feed on seeds during the hot summer days.
The first thing you notice when seeing this plant is the spiny central disk of the flower surrounded with purple petals. You can use them for making cold-preventing tea.
Since this pollinator-friendly plant is 3 feet (91.5 cm) tall, you should grow it along a fence. However, you can include it in your medicinal garden as well. Nowadays, two of them, Echinacea tennesseensis and Echinacea laevigata, are considered as endangered species in the US.
15. Large-flowered tickseed (Coreopsis grandiflora)
Coreopsis (tickseed) is a flower of choice if you want to plant it in a pot and beautify your home. On the other hand, you can use it as a border in your garden.
This perennial lives about three years. However, it is worth the effort because lovely yellow, orange, pink, or red flowers bring so much joy and brightness wherever you grow them. Nowadays, you may find hybrids with lavender and purple toothed petals.
This flower will attract bees, butterflies, and birds in your yard. Most varieties begin flourishing in early summer, but you can expect re-blooming in fall as well. Native to woodlands and prairie of North America, this plant can reach from 10 to 18 inches (25.5 – 46 cm) height.
16. Peony (Paeonia)
The peony originating in Europe, North America, and Asia is the only genus in the Paeoniaceae family. Even though there are 33 known species of this unique flower, some scientists range them in 25 to 40 different species.
These herbaceous perennials are usually 1 to 3 feet (30.5 – 91.5 cm) tall, but some woody shrubs may reach up to 11 feet (3.4 m) height. Be prepared that your lovely plant may live over 100 years at the same place.
Once introduce this fragrant flower into your garden, and you will enjoy its marvelous white, yellow, pink, red, or purple flowers about seven to ten days a year. Even though the blooming season of Peony is quite short, you can quickly solve that problem. Simply grow a few varieties blooming in a period from late spring to early summer.
17. Rose (Rosa spp)
There is at least one exclusive Rose among 2.000 different varieties for anyone in the world. You may fall in love with a mini bloomer, rose bush, or climbing vines as well.
Depending on the region you live in, pick out a variety, which will bloom white, yellow, orange, pink, crimson, red, or even black in summer or autumn. Nowadays, we can recognize:
- Old roses (heirloom or old-fashioned roses) introduced before 1867 – They include Bourbons, China roses, Scotch roses, Portland roses, and much more
- Modern hybrid roses introduced after 1867 – They include modern shrubs, hybrid teas, dwarfs, miniatures, climbers, rugosa hybrids, and others
- Wild roses growing in nature for thousands of years
18. Perennial Sunflower (Helianthus × laetiflorus)
Perennial (cheerful) sunflower belongs to the daisy family Asteraceae, and you can find it in Canada and the most states in the US. You can grow this long-blooming plant for pleasure and admire its beautiful golden yellow flowers on the long stem. On the other hand, you can use its seeds for getting oil.
The most popular type is a plant with daisy-like yellow flowers around a dark center disk. Expect your robust, 3 to 10 feet (91.5 cm – 3 m) tall flower blooms in late summer (September and October) while enjoying full sun. Every stem is multi-branched with heart-shaped, dark green leaves. Keep in mind that some varieties spread by rhizomes and may aggressively occupy your garden.
19. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
This lovely flowering plant originated in Europe, North America, and Asia. However, many farmers from New Zealand and Australia use this herb, growing in meadows, coastal places, and fields, as a feed for their livestock.
In ancient times, doctors used Yarrow as a remedy for healing wounds. In New Mexico and Colorado, it is a very prized plant because of the spicy scent, unique shape, and texture of its leaves.
Since this flower grows fast, you can use it to fill up space in your garden. You will get abundant flourishing from spring to early summer, and enjoy its lovely clusters of small, white, yellow, mustard, orange, pink, peach, red, and purple blooms.
20. Asters (Aster spp)
Aster (from a Latin word meaning ‘star’) is a perennial, 8 to 60 inches (20 cm – 1.5 m) tall bushy shrub originated in Europe, Africa, and Asia. You can enjoy its lovely, 0.4 to 2 inches (1 – 5 cm) white, yellow, pink, orange, red, violet, blue, indigo, or purple flowers flourishing from August to October.
Plant this flower along borders, use it as a beautiful part of your rock garden, or let it attract bees and butterflies transforming your yard to a real butterfly garden.
There are more than 250 types of that beneficial pollinator native to North America that can grow in different habitats. The most popular are:
- New England aster
- New York aster
- California aster
- Italian aster
- Aromatic aster
- Heath aster
- Smooth aster
- Calico aster
- Wood aster
- Tatarian aster
21. Hellebore (Helleborus orientalis)
Even though most gardeners know this plant as Christmas rose or winter rose, twenty species of Helleborus has no connection with the rose family. Be careful with this rhizomatous, evergreen flower because all parts of all species are toxic, especially for children and pets.
You won’t go wrong regardless of whether you choose the plant with white, yellow, green, pink, red, or black blooms. Use it as a ground cover. Most of them flourish from February until May, but bold, evergreen leaves will stay dark green throughout winter except in the coldest regions.
22. Sedum (Sedum spp)
Sedum is a large genus with 400 to 500 species originated in Northern Hemisphere. Nowadays, there are a lot of species growing in South America and Africa as well. These shrubs have water-storing lush foliage and lovely flowers with five, rarely four or six petals.
Their leaves are adapted to help the plant to survive even the driest and hottest summer days as well as frosty winters. I like the fact that Sedum doesn’t die back in winter and keep growing stronger over time. Its leaves usually change in winter and become red, which looks lovely.
You can pick out low-growing or upright variety for your garden, depending on your preferences. Use low flowers as a ground cover, especially for poor soil unsuitable for the growth of other plants. Plus, they can also cover slopes and rocky parts of your yards. Upright Sedum is an excellent choice for a border garden as well.
23. Centaurea Montana (Centaurea cyanus)
Centaurea Montana (Perennial cornflower) is a species endemic in mountain ranges of South Europe. You can find it under the cultivar name – Amethyst Dream. It grows in woodland and meadows, where blooms from May to August.
You won’t regret if growing this plant in a gravel garden or along sunny borders. You will love its single, thistle-like flower head with blue-purple, lacy ray florets arranged along 12 to 30 inches (30.5 – 76 cm) tall stems.
Also, I adore their flower buds before opening because they remind me of little pineapples. You can expect your flower begin flourishing from May to July.