Longest Blooming Perennials for Your Garden
Which perennials are the easiest to grow, are the most colorful and bloom the longest?
One of the most frequently asked questions we hear from our gardening friends is “Which perennials are the easiest to grow, are the most colorful and bloom the longest?” Well of the thousands of perennials in existence today there are many great choices that would fit the bill; but there are indeed a few that stand above the rest in terms of bloom length, color interest, and sustainability.
When making your plant selection, be sure to keep in mind the most important things to know.
- The climate zone you reside in,
- The micro-climate conditions of your particular landscape,
- And lastly, the soil conditions (Ph, drainage, etc.) that are present
With this information, you will be well prepared to make selections that will light up your landscape all season long.
Top Tier Long Blooming Perennials
Below you will find our list of top tier perennials with excellent bloom time, dazzling color and ease of care, with the bonus of being in most cases deer resistant. So, without further adieu, have fun painting your landscape this season with today’s perennial superstars listed below.
Agastache Blue Fortune was an easy choice for its masses of long-lasting, deep lavender-blue flower spikes that appear from July through September above fragrant minty foliage. Prefers average to dry locations in full sun. Agastache Blue Fortune is long flowering, heat, and drought tolerant, as well as insect and disease resistant. Blue Fortune is a must for any butterfly and hummingbird enthusiast. Plants typically grow to about 2.5 to 3 feet tall and form a clump about 2 feet wide.
Echinacea PowWow Wild Berry is a selection of our native purple coneflower that produces hundreds of large, deep rose-purple flowers from late spring to late summer, sometimes with additional sporadic bloom until frost. It typically grows in an upright clump to 2-3′ tall and to 1-1.5′ wide on compact, well-branched stems that do not need staking.
One of the hottest lavenders to hit the market in years and certainly one of our favorite perennials ever! Lavenders have always had a hard time finding their way to the landscape. While certainly beautiful they have always been known as finicky. Those days are over with the latest lavender introduction. Lavender Phenomenal is very easy to grow it’s the only lavender we've been able to grow under our overhead irrigation with no problems whatsoever. In the north, this “phenom” blooms from mid through late summer, but it blooms earlier and longer in the south. Plants can grow to about 2 to 2.5 feet tall when in flower and can form clumps up to 3.5 to 4 feet wide.
Nepeta Walkers Low (named after a place in England, not for its growth habit) is stunning, non-reseeding catmint. Walkers Low produces attractive, blue-green foliage and a profusion of deep lavender-blue flowers. Cut back just above ground-level in mid-spring after the first flush of blooms, and be rewarded with a re-flush just as strong as the first. Nepeta Walker’s Low thrives in the harshest conditions in full sun. Don’t be afraid to plant this beauty in the driest spot in your landscape. It can grow to a height of 18 inches when in flower and can form a clump up to 2 feet wide.
This semi-woody perennial produces a cloud of small blue flowers on long, strong stems. It can grow to heights of 3 feet and forms clumps just as wide. The effect is a charming, airy haze of soft blue against silvery gray, pungently aromatic foliage. Perovskia’s look best when planted in groups of three as the effect of the blue flowers and the silver foliage shows off when planted in masses. This plant loves a hot, dry place in the landscape and has quickly become a favorite of landscape designers across the world.
This plant became an instant garden classic when it was introduced some years ago due to its bold texture and upright habit. Bright gold flowers with a deep brown cone highlight the garden in late summer through mid-fall. Each flower may last up to two weeks, and new ones are born seemingly every day. Goldsturm is also a wonderful and long lasting cut flower. Don’t cut the faded flowers off so that in the winter for the seedheads provide seeds for the birds. Clumps can grow to a height and width of 1.5 to 2 feet.
Sedum Autumn Joy produces pink flower heads that begin to appear in August as the flowers age they gradually change to a rosy russet red by late autumn and are even appealing left uncut against a snowy winter landscape. Autumn Joy can form clumps up to 2 feet wide and about 2 to 2.5 feet tall when in flower. Butterflies love this plant, and you’ll enjoy watching them use the huge flowers as landing pads beginning in the late summer.
I would be remiss in my duties to you if I didn’t include a shade garden plant or two. Astilbe Rheinland is a wonderful addition to the shade garden. The only tricky part of astilbes is that they don’t like to run dry. If the soil becomes exceptionally dry during the summer months, astilbes go dormant and die back to the ground. They will re-emerge in the fall when the temps cool down, and soil moisture is more abundant. Just give them a drink from the hose from time to time in the summer, and they will be fine. Astilbe Rheinland produces an abundance of pink panicle like flowers in mid-summer up to heights of 20 inches and can form clumps just as wide.
Astilbe Fanal is just like Astilbe Rheinland in all aspects except flower color and height. It produces Garnet-red plumes which can reach heights of up to 32 inches and grow to about 24 inches wide. The foliage has a bronze-like tone to it which adds a level of depth to the shade garden.
It seems odd to add grass to the list of the best flowering perennials list, but this one makes the grade. Pink Muhly grass is very easy to grow provided its done in full sun in well-drained soil. If you have a hillside where nothing seems to grow this is the plant for you. It can obtain heights of up to 3 feet and form a clump 3 feet wide which means it will cover some space. In the fall it produces clouds of airy pink flowers in more than abundant numbers that can only make you think of cotton candy. Trust me you have never seen anything like the show this puts on.
These plants have shown themselves to be the best choices for the beginning gardener all the way to the longtime pro based on flowering season and ease of care. Sometimes plants prove themselves over time in gardens around the country; these have done so for many years. I recommend you give one or all of these plants a try. You’ll be happy you did.
Until next time, see you in the garden.