Perennials fit the adage of working smarter, not harder. They deliver color, form, and texture you can count on in the garden. Choosing perennials that flower more than once in a season provide more beauty with less effort. Here are a few of our favorite long-blooming perennials. Some are tried-and-true and others are varieties you have yet to discover. Each delivers maximum bloom power for long-lasting beauty.
Two Top Long-Blooming Perennials for the Upper Midwest and Northeast
Sunstar™ Coreopsis varieties deliver spectacular season-long beauty to your garden and landscape, even in hot, dry areas. These selections are blooming machines, producing flowers nonstop from late spring through the end of summer. There are three colors in the Sunstar™ collection and each is a butterfly and bee magnet. Sunstar™ Rose features creamy-white flowers with rosy centers that sit atop dainty-leafed, green foliage. Beautiful in the landscape, these Coreopsis are fabulous for cutting gardens and containers too.
Coreopsis verticillata Sunstar™ Rose, Zones 4-9.
Daisies lend the garden subtle color and graceful beauty. Shasta Daisies are incredibly easy to grow. They offer loads of beautiful, long-lasting blooms whether left in the garden or cut in a vase and brought inside. Lemon Puff™ features pale yellow, double blossoms with bright, lemon-shaded centers. It is also a favorite of pollinators, providing sustenance for neighborhood bees and butterflies. This spectacular Shasta Daisy stays compact and flush with blooms from early spring through midsummer.
Leucanthemum Lemon Puff™, Zones 4-9.
Two Top Long-Blooming Perennials for the West through the Mid-Atlantic
It is tough to beat Brakelights® Red Yucca for long-lasting drama to the garden. Bold, bright-red blooms sit above a fountain of evergreen foliage. Brakelights® offers a longer bloom time (midsummer through fall) than other Red Yucca selections because this variety rarely forms seeds. A desert native, it is an excellent plant for xeriscaping and looks beautiful in rock gardens and containers, as well. Plant several together in the landscape for an especially stunning presentation.
Hesperaloe parviflora Brakelights®, Zones 5-10.
Sunny summer color is easy with Sunset Snappy Blanket Flower. This drought-tolerant perennial provides cheerful, bright golden-yellow petals that transition to dark-pink centers. Sunset Snappy grows about 14 inches tall and shows off a plethora of blooms that attract butterflies. The beautiful blossoms are excellent for cut flower bouquets, too. Removing spent blooms ensures that this hardworking perennial provides sunny flowers from early summer through autumn.
Gaillardia x grandiflora ‘Sunset Snappy’, Zones 5-9.
Two Top Long-Blooming Perennials for the Pacific Coast through the Deep South
Agapanthus bears unique blue flowers that may take your breath away. With Baby Pete™, the swoon factor continues longer than old-fashioned varieties. Baby Pete™ is compact as well as stunning. This opens more opportunities for use in the garden. Baby Pete™ grows about 18 inches tall, making it the perfect plant for garden edges and borders. It creates an amazing effect when planted en masse. It is also a showstopper as the feature plant in containers. Baby Pete™ is able to bloom over a prolonged season because it does not set viable seed. This means it has more energy for flower production.
Agapanthus praecox ssp. orientalis Baby Pete™, Zones 8-11.
Colorburst™ Cape Fuchsia varieties add gorgeous color for partially shaded areas. The tubular, nectar-filled flower clusters cover the plant from midsummer into fall, drawing in butterflies and hummingbirds. Colorburst™ Rose features showy, color-saturated pink blossoms that standout in borders and container gardens.
Phygelius Colorburst™ Rose, Zones 7-10.
Four Fabulous Choices that Grow Practically Everywhere
Ask any gardener for advice about long-blooming perennials and you are likely see Rozanne Geranium top their list. This award-winning variety brings masses of beautiful, blue-purple blooms to the garden from early spring right through summer’s end. Rozanne is a spreading geranium that offers evergreen foliage in mild-winter climates. Its spreading habit makes it perfect for borders, rock gardens, and meandering over retaining walls. Rozanne is exceptional planted in containers, hanging baskets, or window boxes, as well.
Geranium ‘Rozanne’, Zones 4-10.
Russian Sage is all about easy-to-grow color. Lacey Blue Russian Sage was selected for its ability to stay compact and upright in the garden. The old-school varieties tend to flop. Its sturdy, purple-blue spikes add lovely color and scent to landscapes or containers. This deer-resistant perennial is a great alternative to lavender and looks especially beautiful when planted in groups. Plus, it is perfect for feeding late-season pollinators.
Perovskia atriplicifolia Lacey Blue, Zones 4-10.
Clematis varieties stay compact without sacrificing bloom power. Boulevard® Acropolis™ tops out at about 4 feet tall, making it a beautiful Clematis for containers or smaller garden spaces. Its gorgeous, deep-pink blooms cover the plant from summer through fall, adding height and color to the garden.
Clematis Boulevard® Acropolis™Boulevard®, Zones: 4-9
Daylilies earned their name because individual blossoms last a single day. Reblooming varieties have long bloom seasons because they produce so many flowers over the course of weeks or months. Skye™ Daylilies feature eye-catching flowers with frilly edged petals that bloom all summer long. Daylilies are practically carefree. They work in just about any sunny area, make outstanding mass plantings, and can be used as erosion control. Radiant Skye™ shows off sunny yellow centers rimmed with dark burgundy. The petals transition to a soft, deep-pink color.
Hemerocallis Radiant Skye™, Zones: 4-11.
Tips to Keep Long-Blooming Perennials in Flower
Just like people, plants need the right care to perform their best. Get the most blooms from your perennials by following the instructions on Monrovia.com or the plant’s tag.
Plant your perennials in the correct spot. If they need full sun, make sure they get approximately 6 hours a day of sunshine. The same goes for shade. If it is recommended that your plant needs a break from the heat and light, find a spot that fits. Pay attention to the soil type, as well. Plants grow best if their roots are happy. Most perennials do best in soil that drains well. If you have challenging soil conditions select varieties that can handle those soil types. Additionally, try amending the soil liberally with organic matter (such as compost). Challenging soil includes things such as clay, compacted soil, or sand.
Food and Water
With perennials, you can have too much of a good thing. Overwatering and overfertilizing can lead to lush foliage and fewer blooms. An overabundance of care can also leave your plants more susceptible to attack from insects and disease. This is because of the soft growth. Follow the recommended watering and feeding instructions to get the most out of your perennials.
Deadheading — the act of removing old flowers after they fade — helps keep many reblooming perennials in bloom longer. Some perennial plants also prefer to be divided every few years to keep them lush and healthy. If a perennial needs dividing and is too crowded, it will bloom less, and grow less vigorously overall.
Bonus! Six Spectacular Long-Blooming Shrubs
Double the color with Strawberry Shake™ Hydrangea. The blooms of this compact, panicle hydrangea start out a creamy white, then transition to a beautiful blush pink. Strawberry Shake™ features sturdy stems that hold the big blooms high in the garden or in containers. Be sure to pick a few stems for fresh bouquets. They also make excellent dried flowers.
Hydrangea paniculata Strawberry Shake™, Zones 4-8.
Fill your garden with fragrance and beautiful blooms with Summer Soul® Arabian Jasmine. Big, creamy-white double flowers sit on a backdrop of verdant evergreen leaves. Summer Soul® creates a beautiful, compact flowering hedge or statement piece in borders. Plant it in a container to bring a fresh scent to any area of your yard. In warm areas, it will bloom year-round. In Northern climates, it can be brought indoors in the winter.
Jasminum sambac Summer Soul®, Zones 9-11.
Lantana may be perfect for adding low-maintenance, long-lasting color in warm-winter climates. Teenie Genie® stays smaller than most Lantana selections, adding bursts of beauty without pruning. Teenie Genie® flowers year-round with multi-colored blooms that start yellow, then change to cheery fuchsia. Lantana love the heat and once established, and are waterwise.
Note: Check local restrictions before planting. Lantana may be considered invasive in some areas.
Lantana camara Teenie Genie®, Zones 9-11.
Lead photo: Credit Paul Wishart, iStock/Getty