Top New Perennials for 2016

We've sought out the latest must-have perennial varieties you won't want to miss in 2016.

Everything In This Slideshow

  • Lychnis 'Petite Jenny'

    'Petite Jenny' is a new dwarf form of an easy-to-grow wildflower commonly called ragged robin. Its double pink flowers blend easily with other perennials in the garden, attracting butterflies throughout the summer. It's a charming and deer-resistant cut flower, reblooming reliably if deadheaded.

    Plant Name: Lychnis flos-cuculi 'Petite Jenny'

    Growing Conditions: full sun

    Size: 18 inches tall and 12 inches wide

    Zone: 3-9

    Grow it with: irises and creeping phlox

    Image: Blooms of Bressingham

  • Echinacea 'Rainbow Marcella'

    Imagine a coneflower with multicolor flowers that blooms for months. That's what 'Rainbow Marcella' has to offer your garden in 2016, along with durability and hardiness that keeps the flowers coming. Single-petal blossoms unfurl in shades of melon orange and fade to raspberry pink until frost knocks them out. This new cultivar is a magnet for butterflies and a hardworking companion to many other perennials.

    Plant Name: Echinacea 'Rainbow Marcella'

    Growing Conditions: full sun

    Size: 18 inches tall and 24 inches wide

    Zone: 4-9

    Grow it with: blazingstar and fountaingrass

    Image: Plants Nouveau

  • Delosperma 'Jewel of Desert Opal'

    Crazy for succulents? You're going to love the blue-green leaves and pink flowers of this hot new ice plant. In warmer climates, you can plant it as a perennial groundcover and watch it spread to form a colorful, all-season carpet. In colder climates, it's a novel pop of color spilling out of a container or trough. A multitude of pinwheel-shape flowers open and close daily for two to three months of the growing season.

    Plant Name: Delosperma 'DSAB13-1'

    Growing Conditions: full sun

    Size: 4 inches tall and 10 inches wide

    Zone: 7-9

    Grow it with: sedums and sempervivums

    Image: Concept Plants BV

  • Festuca 'Cool As Ice'

    In wet, humid summer climates, blue fescues typically wilt into unattractive brown mats. 'Cool As Ice' lives up to its name, staying bright and sharp even under the stress of heat and humidity. Selected for the best color under these conditions, it also sports tawny brown flowers throughout late summer in stark contrast to its rich aquamarine foliage. Plant in well-drained soils for best performance.

    Plant Name: Festuca 'Cool As Ice'

    Growing Conditions: full sun to part shade

    Size: 18 inches tall and 24 inches wide

    Zone: 4-8

    Grow it with: purple knautia and artemisia

    Image: Intrinsic Perennial Gardens

  • Silene 'Ray's Golden'

    'Ray's Golden' campion has it all -- vigor, pink flowers, and traffic-stopping chartreuse leaves. Blooms aside, this plant would jazz up meadow plantings with its leaves alone, which are more intensely colored as they emerge in spring. By June, tall stems take to the air with pink, dianthus-like flowers. To rejuvenate the foliage after flowering, cut the plant back to the ground.

    Plant Name: Silene dioica 'Ray's Golden'

    Growing Conditions: sun to part sun

    Size: 24 inches tall and wide

    Zone: 5-7

    Grow it with: daylilies and centaureas

    Image: Select Seeds

  • Echinacea 'Baja Burgundy'

    Coneflowers are staple garden perennials that no full-sun border should be without. Like other colors in the Sombrero series, the brand new 'Baja Burgundy' lights up the garden with vibrant, alluring flowers. Sturdy and compact in habit, 'Baja Burgundy' grows vigorously in well-drained soils and branches to form powerhouse clumps of high-impact flowers all summer.

    Plant Name: Echinacea 'Baja Burgundy'

    Growing Conditions: full sun

    Size: 20 inches tall and 24 inches wide

    Zone: 4-9

    Grow it with: phlox and pycnanthemum

    Image: Ball Hort

  • Coreopsis 'Lightning Bug'

    In full bloom, this new threadleaf coreopsis hybrid flickers in shades of red, orange, and yellow. Perfect for the garden bed that needs a jolt of color all season, 'Lightning Bug' grows well in average soils. This best-in-class variety improves on previous introductions with a multitude of bicolor flowers on sturdy, mildew-resistant plants that also attract bees and butterflies.

    Plant Name: Coreopsis 'Lightning Bug'

    Growing Conditions: full sun

    Size: 12 inches tall and 15 inches wide

    Zone: 5-10

    Grow it with: roses and catmints

    Image: Terra Nova Nurseries

  • Andropogon 'Red October'

    'Red October' is an outstanding new variety of big bluestem, a native prairie grass. Heat-tolerant and drought-resistant, this is one of the hottest new ornamental grasses to hit the market this year. Red-tinted foliage intensifies in autumn to glowing shades of salsa red and burgundy. Plant in the back of the border for height and interest that will contrast fall-flowering perennials until frost.

    Plant Name: Andropogon gerardii 'Red October'

    Growing Conditions: full sun

    Size: 5-6 feet tall

    Zone: 3-8

    Grow it with: asters and goldenrods

    Image: Intrinsic Perennial Gardens

  • Eryngium 'Neptune's Gold'

    What's not to love about the first golden-leaf version of sea holly? 'Neptune's Gold' earned rave reviews at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show in 2014 and is now available to gardeners in the U.S. Bright yellow, spiny leaves emerge in spring and fade to chartreuse, followed in summer by steely blue flowers surrounded with silver and gold bracts. Like many eryngiums, this showstopper grows best on the dry side, forming a sharp and colorful statement along sidewalks or driveways.

    Plant Name: Eryngium x zabelli 'Neptune's Gold'

    Growing Conditions: full sun

    Size: 24 inches tall and 10 inches wide

    Zone: 4-9

    Grow it with: California poppies and ornamental sages

    Image: Plants Nouveau

  • 10 of 29

    Daffodil 'Sunlight Sensation'

    'Sunlight Sensation' is poised to brighten spring gardens everywhere with startling lemon yellow flowers. Planted in waves or masses, this small-flower daffodil makes a big statement for ultimate curb appeal and impact. Plant them to emerge through groundcovers or other perennials that will hide their dormant foliage later in the season. Like all daffodils, 'Sunlight Sensation' is deer- and rodent-proof, guaranteeing a reliable show year after year.

    Plant Name: Narcissus 'Sunlight Sensation'

    Growing Conditions: full sun to part shade

    Size: 8-12 inches tall

    Zone: 4-9

    Grow it with: sedges and bluets

    Image: Brent and Becky's Bulbs

  • 11 of 29

    Kniphofia 'Poco Red'

    Popular for decades, red hot pokers have gotten a makeover with the Poco series. Sized down to the scale of modern gardens and in vivid colors, 'Poco Red' is the latest example of these flame-proof perennials that thrive in dry conditions. Imagine a spike of this rocketing from containers on your patio or trios of them along the curbside or driveway. Plus, hummingbirds love these red, nectar-filled flowers.

    Plant Name: Kniphofia 'Poco Red'

    Growing Conditions: full sun

    Size: 20 inches tall and 14 inches wide

    Zone: 5-10

    Grow it with: lithodora and sedums

    Image: Terra Nova Nurseries

  • 12 of 29

    Heuchera 'Champagne'

    From the coralbell masters at Terra Nova Nurseries comes the latest color enhancement in these popular shade perennials. Aptly named, gold- and champagne-blended leaves sparkle and bubble from spring through summer, accented by fizzy peach flowers that flutter on maroon stems. 'Champagne' forms a compact mound of heat- and humidity-tolerant foliage that accents hostas, epimediums, and other coralbells in the shade garden. Plant it with other shade-loving annuals in containers for a bold statement.

    Plant Name: Heuchera 'Champagne'

    Growing Conditions: part sun to shade

    Size: 14 inches tall and wide

    Zone: 4-9

    Grow it with: woodland phlox and bleeding heart

    Image: Terra Nova Nurseries

  • 13 of 29

    Pennisetum 'Ginger Love'

    Plan for a garden makeover this season with bold plantings of this hot new ornamental grass called 'Ginger Love'. Fizzy red flowers explode from vigorous clumps of this durable, long-lived perennial and last from late summer through fall. This plant thrives in a variety of soils, but grows best with good drainage. Deadhead in late fall to limit reseeding.

    Plant Name: Pennisetum 'Ginger Love'

    Growing Conditions: full sun to part shade

    Size: 2-3 feet tall and wide

    Zone: 5-9

    Grow it with: purpletop verbena and anemones

    Image: Intrinsic Perennial Gardens

  • 14 of 29

    Dicentra 'White Gold'

    If your garden needs a bleeding heart, plant 'White Gold' for a contemporary spin on an old-fashioned favorite. Similar to 'Gold Heart' with chartreuse leaves, 'White Gold' sports both golden foliage and white flowers, offering two points of interest across multiple seasons and vigorous, reliable performance. With such a dramatic presentation, a few well-placed specimens of 'White Gold' will go a long way to dialing up the interest in the shady corners of your yard.

    Plant Name: Dicentra spectabilis 'White Gold'

    Growing Conditions: shade

    Size: 30 inches tall and 36 inches wide

    Zone: 4-8

    Grow it with: coralbells and brunnera

    Image: Terra Nova Nurseries

  • 15 of 29

    Agastache 'Glowing Embers'

    If you garden in arid conditions, you need to grow this hot new introduction from High Country Gardens. Perfectly suited for lean, low-nutrient soils in full sun, 'Glowing Embers' features intense dark red flowers that will lure hummingbirds and other pollinators to your garden. This variety, like many other hyssops, performs best when cut back to the ground in spring. Deer and rabbits avoid it, too, thanks to rich, licorice-scented leaves left for gardeners to enjoy instead.

    Plant Name: Agastache rupestris 'Glowing Embers'

    Growing Conditions: full sun

    Size: 24 inches tall and 20 inches wide

    Zone: 5-9

    Grow it with: lavenders and blackfoot daisy

    Image: High Country Gardens

  • 16 of 29

    Allium 'Windy City'

    Alliums are all the rage right now for their playful, geometric flower clusters and hardworking personalities. 'Windy City' is a new, best-in-class dwarf variety that's perfect for containers or mass plantings. Deer- and rodent-proof, these purple lollipops add a playful note to the garden while tolerating drought and clay soils. Not only do they provide four weeks of summer color, but the seed heads persist for brilliant winter interest.

    Plant Name: Allium 'Windy City'

    Growing Conditions: full sun to part shade

    Size: 15-18 inches tall

    Zone: 4-9

    Grow it with: little bluestem and cranesbill

    Image: Intrinsic Perennial Gardens

  • 17 of 29

    Zauschneria 'Sky Island Orange'

    This plant is all about the hummingbirds. In fact, it's a magnet for them, especially during their fall migration. Glowing orange flowers cover low, cascading plants in autumn and ward off rabbits and deer with potent mint-scented foliage. While hardy to colder zones, 'Sky Island Orange' does best in western gardens where precipitation is less than 30 inches a year. In severe droughts, morning water will prolong flowering.

    Plant Name: Zauschneria canum var. arizonica 'Sky Island Orange'

    Growing Conditions: full sun and part shade

    Size: 30 inches tall and 36 inches wide

    Zone: 5-8

    Grow it with: salvia and catmint

    Image: High Country Gardens

  • 18 of 29

    Salvia 'Autumn Sapphire'

    'Autumn Sapphire' is a head-turning introduction of West Texas sage recognized by Plant Select as a smart choice for western gardens. Cold-hardy and drought-tolerant, this sage has amazingly thin leaves and striking cobalt blue flowers that bloom in mid- to late autumn. This compact version of the species is truly the dessert of the gardening season, joining the usual cast of asters and mums for a final reprise of color and interest.

    Plant Name: Salvia reptans 'Autumn Sapphire'

    Growing Conditions: full sun

    Size: 24 inches tall and 18 inches wide

    Zone: 5-9

    Grow it with: little bluestem and hardy mums

    Image: Plant Select

  • 19 of 29

    Lavandula 'Meerlo'

    You won't find another lavender that tolerates heat, humidity, and drought as well as 'Meerlo'. Plus, every time you brush past its brightly variegated foliage, you'll get a nose full of that classic lavender aroma. This vigorous new herb holds its leaves all season and performs well in a variety of soils, unlike other lavenders. In colder climates, 'Meerlo' makes a vibrant container specimen.

    Plant Name: Lavandula x allardi 'Meerlo'

    Growing Conditions: full sun

    Size: 12 inches tall and wide

    Zone: 9-11

    Grow it with: rosemary and ornamental oregano

    Image: Plant Development Services, Inc.

  • 20 of 29

    Daffodil 'Elvin's Voice'

    Daffodils like 'Elvin's Voice' deserve your attention not only for their lovely flowers but because they are deer- and rodent-proof. Multiple creamy-white blooms dangle from vigorous stems of this fragrant new variety named for former Better Homes and Gardens editor Elvin McDonald. Among daffodils, 'Elvin's Voice' blooms late in the season. If you can't wait for spring, you can even force them and enjoy flowers on the windowsill in March and April.

    Plant Name: Narcissus 'Elvin's Voice'

    Growing Conditions: full sun to part shade

    Size: 14-16 inches tall

    Zone: 4-9

    Grow it with: lewisias and primroses

    Image: Brent and Becky's Bulbs

  • 21 of 29

    Carex 'Eversheen'

    If you're looking to make over your shade garden this year, plant patches of 'Eversheen' sedge for bold strokes of high-gloss personality. This new variety of these hardworking grasslike plants features dramatic jade and chartreuse stripes. Tolerant of moist and dry soils, 'Eversheen' forms an evergreen groundcover where hardy, filling voids between bolder textures or spilling onto the path. In colder climates, it's sure to jazz up just about any container planting.

    Plant Name: Carex oshimensis 'Eversheen'

    Growing Conditions: part sun to full shade

    Size: 16 inches tall and wide

    Zone: 6-8

    Grow it with: hostas and ajuga

    Image: Concept Plants BV

  • 22 of 29

    Stokesia 'Divinity'

    Until now, Stokesia have mostly come in shades of purple and blue. 'Divinity' lightens up the scene with crisp, sparkling white flowers that appear in summer on stout, 14-inch-tall stems. It's versatile in borders or as a container plant and thrives in well-drained soils. Intermingle 'Divinity' with other perennials and groundcovers in the middle of the border for heavenly combinations.

    Plant Name: Stokesia laevis 'Divinity'

    Growing Conditions: full sun

    Size: 14-16 inches tall and wide

    Zone: 5-9

    Grow it with: lamb's-ears and yarrow

    Image: Emerald Coast Growers

  • 23 of 29

    Agastache 'Kudos Yellow'

    The Kudos series of hyssops features dwarf varieties with loads of flowers that attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Each stem is densely budded and well-branched, guaranteeing weeks of ongoing color from vibrant, tubular flowers. To top it all off, 'Kudos Yellow' is resistant to downy mildew, retaining its aromatic leaves throughout the growing season even if conditions get a little too wet. On the flip side, it's also very drought-tolerant.

    Plant Name: Agastache 'Kudos Yellow'

    Growing Conditions: sun to part sun

    Size: 24 inches tall and wide

    Zone: 5-10

    Grow it with: kniphofia and coneflower

    Image: Terra Nova Nurseries

  • 24 of 29

    Sorghastrum 'Thin Man'

    If you're tired of Karl Foerster feather reedgrass, look no further than 'Thin Man' indiangrass. Indiangrass is native across much of North America and thrives in a variety of soils, particularly those on the dry side. This new, narrowly upright selection brings rigid, vertical lines to the garden, creating a perfect backdrop or screen. Add dark blue-green leaves to the mix and you have a dynamo new grass to redo your garden with.

    Plant Name: Sorghastrum nutans 'Thin Man'

    Growing Conditions: full sun

    Size: 6 feet tall

    Zone: 4-9

    Grow it with: penstemons and perennial sunflowers

    Image: High Country Gardens

  • 25 of 29

    Crocosmia 'Dragonfire'

    Crocosmia 'Dragonfire' brings a whole new level of red hot to small gardens. Vigorous and compact, 'Dragonfire' won't flop where others flailed, multiplying to form dense clumps of arching stems loaded with flowers in mid- to late summer. It's a magnet for hummingbirds and butterflies, while not ranking high with deer or rabbits. In colder climates, plant 'Dragonfire' as the star performer in your container garden for a hint of subtropical flair.

    Plant Name: Crocosmia 'Dragonfire'

    Growing Conditions: full sun

    Size: 26 inches tall and 30 inches wide

    Zone: 7-9

    Grow it with: pineapple lilies and coneflowers

    Image: Terra Nova Nurseries

  • 26 of 29

    Delosperma 'Red Mountain Flame'

    Recognized by Plant Select as a smart choice for western gardens, 'Red Mountain Flame' is the latest in a string of new ice plant cultivars hitting the market. Ruggedly dependable, 'Red Mountain Flame' excels in arid conditions and survives drought without missing a single sunset-orange flower. Flowers appear in late spring and early summer, sporadically reblooming depending on moisture availability later in the season. 'Red Mountain Flame' is an excellent new hybrid for xeric landscapes and containers.

    Plant Name: Delosperma 'Red Mountain Flame'

    Growing Conditions: full sun

    Size: 1 inch tall and 16 inches wide

    Zone: 6-9

    Grow it with: hardy cacti

    Image: High Country Gardens

  • 27 of 29

    Penstemon 'Luminous'

    If you have hot, dry conditions and need lots of color, 'Luminous' penstemon won't disappoint. Clouds of flaming-orange flowers light up the garden's floor in bright morning and afternoon light. Hummingbirds flock to this Western U.S.-native perennial, which thrives through drought without missing a beat. As a rabbit-proof plant, it's perfect for edging out beds and borders for ribbons of shiny color.

    Plant Name: Penstemon pinifolius 'Luminous'

    Growing Conditions: full sun

    Size: 8 inches tall and 12 inches wide

    Zone: 5-9

    Grow it with: eryngium and hardy cacti

    Image: High Country Gardens

  • 28 of 29

    Achillea 'Little Moonshine'

    'Little Moonshine' is a compact version of the old standby 'Moonshine', putting the same bright yellow flowers on compact stems that fit better into smaller gardens. The best part -- it flowers all season long, from late spring until frost, guaranteeing months of color, interest, and endless perennial combinations. Deer don't like it either.

    Plant Name: Achillea 'Little Moonshine'

    Growing Conditions: full sun

    Size: 12 inches tall and wide

    Zone: 4-8

    Grow it with: penstemon and grama grass

    Image: Blooms of Bressingham

  • Next Slideshow Top New Perennials for 2017

    Top New Perennials for 2017

    We take a look at the top new perennials heading your way for 2017.
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