The Best Perennials For Your Garden


Keyword: perennials

Perennials are valuable in any garden because they offer color all summer long. Some varieties burst into bloom the first year, but most take 2-3 years to become established. They fit perfectly between shrubs and trees in borders or at the front of flower beds. Plant them alone for a dramatic effect, or use them as filler plants in masses. Here are some popular types with tips on how to grow them successfully:

Aquilegias:

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Aquilegias need moist soil high in organic matter with neutral pH levels. They do best when planted where they get morning sun and afternoon shade. Plant 3 feet apart in full sun if you’re growing them for their foliage; otherwise plant 6 inches apart for blossoms that will be pollinated by wildlife. Aquilegias grown for their blossoms should be divided every 3-4 years to keep them blooming freely. The foliage of older plants can become unsightly, but that doesn’t matter because it will be hidden by the flowers anyway.

Aster novae-angliae:

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Aster novae-angliae perennials form a low mound of tiny, dark green leaves and offer purple flowers from late spring through fall if deadheaded. Plant them 2 feet apart in full sun with average water needs. It’s deer resistant and drought tolerant are established. Hardy in Zones 4-8, it takes light frosts and heats better than other asters.

Aeonium arboretum:

Aeonium arboretum is a striking succulent plant that’s perfect for sunny locations in hot, dry climates. Prune this plant heavily to encourage new growth and reduce the need for water.

Anemone x hybrida:

Anemone x hybrida produces large single pink flowers on strong green stems from fall into winter. Plant 2 feet apart with average watering needs. Hardy in Zones 4-8, it will self-seed if allowed to go to seed and may become weedy in some areas or require division every 2 years or so to remain healthy. This anemone prefers slightly alkaline soils and does best when planted where it gets morning sun and afternoon shade.

Bergenia cordifolia:

Bergenia cordifolia is a tough, one of the most easy-care perennials with dramatic leathery leaves that turn purplish-red in winter. Plant 2 feet apart with average to slightly dry soil. Hardy in Zones 5-8, the flowers are inconspicuous.

Campanula carpatica:

Campanula carpatica produces lots of dark blue bell-shaped flowers on sturdy stems from mid-summer into fall if deadheaded. It’s ideal for hot locations because it thrives in sunny spots and doesn’t need much water. Leave some space between each plant (3 feet apart) because they will grow large over time. They need to be divided or thinned every 3 years to keep them blooming freely and remain healthy.

Campanula persicifolia:

Campanula persicifolia is covered with pure white flowers from early summer through fall if deadheaded. This is a great ground cover for hot locations because it thrives in full sun and doesn’t need much water, but it also looks good grown along the front of flower borders. Plant 1 foot apart with average watering needs.

Epimedium x Versicolor:

Epimedium x Versicolor grows in full sun or partial shade with average watering needs. This is a good choice if you’re looking to attract hummingbirds because it’s one of the best plants for them. It has green foliage that turns yellow in fall, then red before turning green again the following spring.

Eupatorium maculatum:

Eupatorium maculatum offers long-lasting flowers from late summer until frost on low heat-tolerant plants that tolerate drought fairly well. Plant 2 feet apart with average water needs and light pruning after flowering to keep it compact and blooming freely. Hardy in Zones 3-8, it needs to be watered occasionally during a dry spell and divide every 3-4 years to maintain its health.

Gaillardia Grandiflora:

Gaillardia Grandiflora `Fanfare’ produces large daisy flowers from late spring until frost if deadheaded. This is a great plant for attracting butterflies, bees, and other pollinators because it tolerates extreme heat and drought well, though it doesn’t like soggy soil either. Plant 2 feet apart with average watering needs. Hardy in Zones 4-9, it’s best divided or thinned out every 3 years to keep them healthy and attractive looking.

Helenium autumnale:

Helenium autumnale offers a long season of bright yellow flowers on strong stems from early summer through fall if deadheaded. Plant 12 inches apart with average watering needs. Hardy in Zones 3-8, it needs to be watered occasionally during a dry spell and divide every 3-5 years to maintain its health.

Helleborus orientalis:

Helleborus orientalis produces large green leaves that turn reddish-purple in winter and clusters of small pink flowers on low plants from mid-winter into spring if the old foliage is cut off after flowering. This is a good choice for woodland gardens because it blooms best in shady spots where other plants will not grow well. The plants should be divided every 3 years or so to maintain health.

Helleborus x hybridus:

Helleborus x hybridus `Christmas Carol’ offers clusters of fragrant pink flowers on low plants from early winter until spring if deadheaded. This is a good choice for woodland gardens because it blooms best in shady spots where other plants will not grow well. The plants should be divided every 3 years or so to maintain health.

Lupinus perennis:

Lupinus perennis produce long-lasting bright blue flowers on tall spikes from early summer through fall if deadheaded. Plant 1 foot apart with average watering needs.

Nepeta x faassenii:

Nepeta x faassenii produces long-lasting spikes of lavender-blue flowers on low plants from early summer through fall. This is a good choice for rock gardens because it tolerates heat and drought, though it’s best to monitor the soil moisture levels during dry spells. The plants should be divided every 3 years or so to maintain health. Hardy in Zones 4-8, they need to be watered occasionally during a dry spell and divide every 3-4 years to maintain their health.

Paeonia hybrids:

Paeonia hybrids offer large showy pink flowers with large red eyes on stalks above ferny green foliage from late spring until fall if deadheaded. Plant 2 feet apart with average watering needs, but make sure the soil drains well to prevent root rot. Hardy in Zones 4-8, they need to be watered occasionally during a dry spell and divided every 3 years or so.

Papaver orientale:

Papaver orientale ‘Sparbuch’ produces long-lasting scarlet red flowers on low plants from mid-summer until fall if deadheaded. This is an excellent plant for attracting butterflies and other pollinators because it tolerates heat and drought very well, though it doesn’t like soggy soil either. The plants should be divided every 3 years or so to maintain healthy plants.

Phlox divaricate:

Phlox divaricate produces long-lasting pink flowers on low plants from early summer until fall if deadheaded. This is a good choice for rock gardens with average watering needs, but make sure the soil drains well to prevent root rot.

Pulsatilla vulgaris:

Pulsatilla vulgaris `Rubra’ produces soft yellow-green flowers on tall stems from late spring until fall if deadheaded. This is a good choice for rock gardens because it tolerates heat very well, though it prefers partial shade and moist organic soil with excellent drainage. The plants should be divided every 3 years or so to maintain health. Hardy in Zones 3-8, they need to be watered occasionally during a dry spell and divided every 3 years or so to maintain their health.

Salvia nemorosa:

Salvia nemorosa `Caradonna’ produces deep blue flowers on short stems from mid-spring until mid-fall if deadheaded. This is the coldest hardy of the sages. The plants should be divided every 3-4 years to maintain health. Hardy in Zones 5-9, they need to be watered occasionally during a dry spell and divided every 3 years or so.

Stipa tenuissima:

Stipa tenuissima produces silvery blue flowers on tall stems from early summer until fall if deadheaded. This is an excellent plant for attracting butterflies because it tolerates heat very well, though it prefers full sun and average watering needs. The plants should be divided every 2-3 years to maintain healthy plants. Hardy in Zones 4-8, they need to be watered occasionally during a dry spell and divide every year or two to maintain their health.

Conclusion:

Perennials are one of the hottest gardening trends right now. Perennial plants come back year after year and they often require less care than traditional annuals or even some vegetables. To help you get a head start on your perennial garden, we’ve put together a list of perennials that will make a great addition to any landscape this spring. Some of these perennials have been around for years and others are new varieties that have just been discovered this season. They all have one thing in common though: they’re beautiful and provide an abundance of blooms from summer through fall. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it’s a good place to get started when planning your perennial landscape!

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