Top 10 Long Blooming Perennials
Plants With Serious Flower Power
Looking for perennials that bloom for a long time but require minimal care? Here are ten best-sellers that will make you look like a garden rockstar.
1.) 'Moonbeam' Tickseed
With blooms that form in early summer and last all the way until the end of fall, ‘Moonbeam’ is the definition of a long blooming perennial. Winner of the 1992 Perennial Plant of the Year award, ‘Moonbeam’ is a tried and tested groundcover that will provide multiple seasons of bloom in your perennial garden.
Besides being a great bloomer, ‘Moonbeam’ is also incredibly easy to grow. It tolerates drought as well as deer and grows well in a wide variety of soils and conditions anywhere from Zone 3 to Zone 9.
A sterile cultivar of the Coreopsis genus, you don’t have to worry about ‘Moonbeam’ taking over the garden, despite its adaptability to difficult growing conditions. Just find a sunny spot for planting, and enjoy blooms from the beginning of June until the end of August.
2.) Rozanne® Cranesbill
Known as the Geranium of the Millennium, Rozanne® cranesbill can bloom for over 3 months, filling your garden with flowers all season long. The 2008 perennial of the year, Rozanne has long been proven to keep your garden flowering for as long as possible.
Another sterile cultivar, Rozanne perennial geranium will grow tremendously in your garden, but only where you want it to. This makes it a great groundcover for both covering your landscape in blooms, as well as suppressing weeds.
Rozanne® cranesbill is hardy from zones 5-8, and while it does prefer some afternoon shade in hotter climates, it does boast a good amount of both heat and drought tolerance compared to other geraniums. It will fit well in your garden as a groundcover, specimen plant, or front of border plant in your perennial garden.
Rozanne® grows into a nice rounded habit, with each plant reaching around 2 feet both high and wide. And while the plant itself may be small, its flowers are not. With flowers that reach almost 3 inches, the beautiful blooms on this geranium will be noticeable all season long.
3.) Russian Sage
Another Perennial of the Year winner, Russian sage has been a popular long bloomer since the ‘90s. With long spires of sky blue flowers, the blooms start in mid-summer and can last for over 10 weeks. In addition to their garden interest, they also provide long-lasting cut flowers, allowing you to share the beauty amongst your yard and home.
Hardy in zones 5-9, Russian sage is perfect for areas that don’t have easy access to water, as it thrives regardless of the heat and drought of the summer months. Reaching a height of nearly 4 feet at maturity, its height and drought tolerance make it perfect for the back border of your garden.
Native to southwest and central Asia, it has since been transported and planted successfully across North America and Europe. Despite this, it is not considered invasive, and can safely be planted in gardens across the United States without worries of it overtaking the native environment.
4.) 'Walker's Low' Catmint
(Nepeta x faassenii)
A very easy to grow perennial, ‘Walker’s Low’ provides your garden with up to five months of its delightful trumpet-shaped, lavender-blue flowers. Also an award winner, ‘Walker’s Low’ won Perennial Plant of the Year in 2007. The species from which it was developed, Nepeta × faassenii, has also won the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.
Growing up to three feet tall and wide, ‘Walker’s Low’ looks great in any part of the garden. Hardy enough to handle periods of both drought and cold, it can be grown anywhere from zones 3-8. With no pruning or shearing required, all ‘Walker’s Low’ needs are some well-drained soil and your garden will be full of blooms for up to five months.
Its permanently sterile seeds mean that it isn’t invasive, despite not being developed in the United States. First cultivated by Faassen Nurseries in the Netherlands, ‘Walker’s Low’ has been a staple perennial for over a decade thanks to its blooms, hardiness, and deer resistance.
A great way to add vibrant color to your garden, coneflowers add a variety of vibrant colors to your garden all season long. Hardy in zones 4-8, its bright flowers are pleasant to look at, and are great at attracting pollinators to the garden, inviting butterflies to the garden throughout the blooming season.
While they do require a little more care to get established, once they’ve spent a year in the garden, coneflowers are very durable, tolerant to drought and heat. The flower all season long, with no need to deadhead old blooms throughout the season.
A plant of many uses, coneflowers were used by Native Americans for a number of medicinal purposes before and during colonial times. While general research has shown that there is little to no medical benefit to be gained from the flower. Fortunately, it looks amazing in the garden, providing plenty of use as a colorful and fragrant flowering perennial throughout the year.
6.) 'Goldsturm' Black-Eyed Susan
Another plant that also attracts butterflies, Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’ bloom from mid-summer to early fall, providing over three months of bright yellow blooms during their blooming period. With flowers that reach over three inches in size on this two-foot-tall plant, its flowers dominate the landscape throughout the summer.
Outside of their wonderful flowers, black-eyed Susan also functions as a food source for caterpillars, and is resistant to deer and rabbits, which means you should get to keep your flowers, even in the face of these common garden pests.
A reasonably hardy, sun-loving perennial, they handle summer heat well, especially planted in well-drained soil. While they do take about a year to get established, they are incredibly drought tolerant and heat tolerant after that first year, making them a very easy to maintain perennial.
7.) 'Autumn Joy' Stonecrop
‘Autumn Joy’ is a flowering perennial that can be grown in zones 3-9, and looks great year-round across the variety of climates that can be found in these zones. This sturdy sedum provides the landscape with reddish-pink flowers in late summer. Growing between 18-24 inches tall, ‘Autumn Joy’ provides a great deal of interest without dominating the landscape.
Like most sedum, ‘Autumn Joy’ does well in times of drought, and can handle a wide variety of weather, from the cold summers of zone 3 to the hot and dry summers that can be found in zone 9.
While ‘Autumn Joy’ is technically of the sedum variety, it is a cross between a sedum and an ice plant, and as such is more upright than most sedums, and doesn’t always visually resemble other members of the sedum family. Since it is so easy to grow it can occasionally spread from the area it was originally planted. Not to worry, however, since ‘Autumn Joy’ is native to North America, Asia, and Europe.
'Happy Returns' Daylily
A re-blooming daylily that lives up to its name, ‘Happy Returns’ provides nonstop blooms for months, from zone 3 through zone 9. Its compact 18-inch height means that it fits almost anywhere in the garden, allowing you to bring its bright yellow blooms to any part of the garden that needs some color.
Like most daylilies, it performs well in any well-draining soil and is tolerant to drought in heat. For the most attractive plant some watering in drier environments is appreciated, but ‘Happy Returns’ will still provide terrific blooms for the gardener with limited free time.
With blooms from June-October, ‘Happy Returns’ provides flowers for 4+ months without the worry of pests or diseases. Generally avoided by rabbits and adaptable to a very wide range of planting and growing conditions, ‘Happy Returns’ is the ideal low maintenance perennial for the busy gardener.
9.) 'May Night' Salvia
(Salvia x sylvestris)
Thanks to its deep violet-blue blooms that grace the garden through most of spring, ‘May Night’ takes the phrase “April showers bring May flowers” very literally. The unique flowering spikes provide an eye-catching display wherever they are found in the garden, and are also splendid when brought indoors as part of a cut flower arrangement.
Hardy from zones 4-9, ‘May Night’ is easy to grow even in some difficult conditions, remaining sturdy in the rain, and tolerating heat with ease. By pruning spent blooms, you can continue to enjoy flowers on your plant all summer long.
As with a number of flowering perennials, ‘May Night’ is attractive to all types of pollinators. Bother butterflies and hummingbirds have been known to enjoy the pollen from this plant, which makes this long-blooming perennial a great inclusion for a butterfly or pollinator garden. 1997 perennial of the year, ‘May Night’ is a wonderful addition to any garden.
10.) 'Karl Foerster' Feather Reed Grass
(Calamagrostis x acutiflora)
While an ornamental grass might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a long-blooming perennial, ‘Karl Foerster’ blooms from early summer to fall. Winner of the 2001 Perennial Plant of the Year award, this lovely ornamental grass provides interest along borders and hedges with its colorful blooms and upright habit.
Brought to the US in 1964, ‘Karl Foerster’ grass has been a favorite of landscapers and gardeners alike for over 50 years. It is a deceptively sturdy grass, while it will sway with even the slightest breeze, it remains upright in even the harshest of conditions. Unlike other grasses that struggle after storms or in windy weather, ‘Karl Foerster’ remains vertical in all but the harshest weather.
While it does require yearly maintenance in the spring when it needs to be cut back, it is otherwise low maintenance and can handle difficult soil, heat, and moisture conditions anywhere it is hardy (zones 5-8).