25 Easy-To-Grow Perennials That Are Perfect for Beginners to Plant

detail shot of asiatic lily blooms
Photo: Bob Stefko

With hundreds of species and varieties to choose from, picking the most low maintenance perennials that can thrive without needing much from you can be a challenge, especially if you're a new gardener. To simplify matters, this list of easy-to-grow perennials will point you in the right direction.

01 of 25

Coneflower

echinacea purpurea coneflower
Bob Stefko

Hot, sunny weather won't stop coneflower from producing armloads of flowers from early summer until fall. This flowering native plant is easy to grow and is available in purple, white, yellow, orange, and red. Most varieties have single flowers, but some newer hybrids sport eye-popping double blooms. The nectar-rich flowers will also attract butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden.

Name: Echinacea

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in dry to medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Zones: 3-8

02 of 25

Lanceleaf Coreopsis

yellow coreopsis lanceolata bloom
Marty Baldwin

Equally at home in containers or the landscape, lanceleaf coreopsis is a must-have perennial for both novice and experienced gardeners. This tough native plant will thrive in poor soil, and doesn't mind drought and heat either, while puts on a show of golden daisylike flowers from late spring into summer.

Name: Coreopsis lanceolata

Growing Conditions: Full sun in dry to medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 2 feet tall and 18 inches wide

Zones: 4-9

03 of 25

Hosta

variegated hosta leaves detail
Matthew Benson

Brighten shady spots in your garden and landscape with hostas. These super-easy foliage plants come in an almost unlimited selection of shapes, sizes, and colors from ground-hugging dwarf varieties to giant-sized beauties. Plus, as an added bonus, hostas develop graceful spikes of lavender or white blooms that will lure hummingbirds to your garden.

Name: Hosta

Growing Conditions: Full shade to part shade in moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 4 feet tall and 6 feet wide

Zones: 3-8

Buy It: Hosta Collection ($20, Breck's)

04 of 25

Peony

pink karl rosenfield peony
Karla Conrad

Add peonies to your shopping list if you're looking for reliable, easy-to-grow perennials that will bloom every year without fail. These robust plants produce masses of large, fragrant spring blooms in colors that include pink, coral, white, red, cream, and bicolor.

Name: Paeonia

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 3 feet tall and wide

Zones: 3-8

05 of 25

Black-Eyed Susan

rudbeckia perennials
Joshua McCullough

The more you cut the bold daisylike flowers of black-eyed Susan, the more blooms these prolific perennials will produce. This drought tolerant plant's bright yellow summer blooms are a pollinator favorite, and you can also find varieties with orange, cherry, and bicolor flowers.

Name: Rudbeckia

Growing Conditions: Full sun in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Zones: 3-7

06 of 25

Garden Phlox

pink phlox bloom cluster
Bob Stefko

As fragrant as it is colorful, garden phlox is a must-have perennial for your garden. It blooms from midsummer to fall in pink, white, rose, purple, orange, and bicolor. Place garden phlox in a sunny location with plenty of air circulation to help keep plants healthy. This gorgeous, easy-to-grow perennial is also highly attractive to hummingbirds.

Name: Phlox paniculata

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide

Zones: 4-8

07 of 25

Blazing Star

detail purple gayfeather liatris
Peter Krumhardt

Commonly called gayfeather or blazing star, this tough-as-nails native plant produces feathery-looking flower heads of pink, white, or purple blooms from midsummer to fall. Not only will these colorful wands look beautiful in your garden, they will also attract butterflies and hummingbirds from miles around.

Name: Liatris spicata

Growing Conditions: Full sun in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Zones: 3-8

08 of 25

Helenium

sneezeweed flowers in bloom
Matthew Benson

Perk up your late-summer and fall garden with a generous helping of helenium. That's when these easy-care perennials become covered with daisy-like, orange, red, yellow, or bicolor blooms. Helenium makes the perfect companion for New England asters, which bloom around the same time. Plus, both of these sun-loving native plants will attract hordes of butterflies.

Name: Helenium autumnale

Growing Conditions: Full sun in well-drained soil

Size: Up to 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide

Zones: 3-8

09 of 25

Daylily

daylily yellow flowers
Bob Stefko

With daylilies, all you have to do is plant them in a sunny spot and add a little mulch around these easy-care perennials to keep weeds at bay. They come in all sorts of colors and bloom types, and some varieties will even rebloom after the first flush of flowers appears.

Name: Hemerocallis

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Zones: 3-9

Buy It: Wild Horses Reblooming Daylily ($40, Breck's)

10 of 25

Hellebore

hellebore
Richard Hirneisen

Commonly called Lenten rose, hellebore is a late winter-blooming perennial that can continue to bloom into spring. It features cup-shape, rose-like flowers with prominent stamens in the center. It thrives in shady spots and tolerates drought well. Just beware that the leaves, stems, and roots of hellebore are poisonous if ingested so keep it away from pets and small children.

Name: Helleborus

Growing Conditions: Full shade to part shade in well-drained soil

Size: Up to 18 inches tall and wide

Zones: 4-9

11 of 25

Bearded Iris

bearded iris supreme sultan
Bob Stefko

Crownlike, fragrant flowers in an array of jewel-like colors make bearded iris a top pick for your spring garden. These easy-care sun-lovers also sport handsome sword-shape foliage that keeps the plant attractive in the garden even after the flowers fade. A wide variety of bearded iris varieties are available including dwarf and miniature types as well as plants with variegated foliage.

Name: Iris

Growing Conditions: Full sun in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Zones: 3-10

12 of 25

Catmint

close up of catmint blooms
Bob Stefko

A fast-growing perennial, catmint sports graceful stalks of blue, white, or pink flowers in the spring. It will quickly rebloom if you cut the plants back after the first flush of flowers fade. Catmint also has fragrant foliage that you can dry to use in herbal teas. For best effect, plant this rugged bloomer in large drifts or clumps.

Name: Nepeta

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in dry to medium, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 3 feet tall and wide

Zones: 4-8

Buy It: Catmint ($13, Etsy)

13 of 25

Sedum

close up of sedum autumn joy blooms
Bob Stefko

Stage a colorful fall finale in your garden by including a generous supply of sedum. These drought tolerant perennials come in an almost unlimited selection of heights and colors, from ground-huggers that barely grow 6 inches tall to stately, upright plants that can reach 3 feet in height. In late summer to fall, their showy, nectar-rich flowers will draw hungry pollinators.

Name: Sedum

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Zones: 3-9

14 of 25

Baptisia

Baptisia purple flowers
Denny Schrock

Enjoy pretty spikes of blue, purple, yellow, or white pealike blooms every spring with baptisia. Commonly called false indigo, this perennial was often used by early American colonists to make natural dyes. It is truly reliable, often blooming every year in the same spot for decades. Baptisia grows slowly, so buy the largest plants you can find in the nursery.

Name: Baptisia

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in dry to medium, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 4 feet tall and wide

Zones: 3-9

15 of 25

Heuchera

coralbells heuchera mahogany
Denny Schrock

Turn your shady backyard into a colorful foliage garden with heuchera. Commonly called coral bells, this clump-forming beauty comes in a wild assortment of leaf colors that include orange, chartreuse, purple, cherry, bronze, red, bright green, and bicolor. The plants also develop stalks of tiny pink or white bell-shaped flowers from early to midsummer. Heuchera makes an excellent groundcover or container plant.

Name: Heuchera

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Zones: 4-9

16 of 25

Blanket Flower

blanket flower blooms
Jamie Hadley

Let blanket flower cover your landscape in vibrant shades of yellow, orange, and red. This drought-tolerant sun-lover is a snap to grow, and its cheerful flowers are highly attractive to bees and butterflies. Blanket flower is not a long-lived perennial, so it's a good idea to add new plants every two or three years to keep the color show going.

Name: Gaillardia

Growing Conditions: Full sun in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Zones: 3-10

Buy It: Blanket Flower Mix ($2, Etsy)

17 of 25

Bee Balm

purple monarda bee balm
Rob Cardillo

If you want to create a beautiful pollinator garden, be sure to include bee balm in it. Bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies flock to this vigorous perennial that develops masses of blooms that resemble mopheads. It's also one of the top rabbit-resistant plant choices for your garden. Select mildew-resistant varieties of this plant if you live in a warm, humid climate.

Name: Monarda

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in medium moist to wet, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 4 feet tall and 3 feet wide

Zones: 4-9

18 of 25

Chrysanthemum

yellow seizan mum detail
Marty Ross

Whether you plant them in flowerbeds or containers, chrysanthemums are the rock stars of the fall garden. They offer stunning flowers in different shapes and sizes in a host of colors that include white, yellow, pink, orange, red, lavender, and bicolor. Chrysanthemums are relatively short-lived, so replant every year or two to keep your garden colorful.

Name: Chrysanthemum

Growing Conditions: Full sun in moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Zones: 5-9

19 of 25

Yarrow

pink yarrow paprika blooms
Matthew Benson

Even in times of drought, you can count on yarrow to thrive in your garden. The plant's aromatic, ferny foliage supports a midsummer explosion of gorgeous flowers in yellow, rose, white, pink, or lavender. Its flat-topped flower clusters make great cut flowers for those fill-in spots in bouquets.

Name: Achillea

Growing Conditions: Full sun in dry to medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 3 feet tall and wide

Zones: 3-9

Buy It: Summer Pastels Yarrow Mixture ($25, Breck's)

20 of 25

Aster

purple new york aster
Denny Schrock

No fall garden is complete without asters. These late-flowering beauties add a much-needed color boost just when the garden starts to fade. They are also prized by migrating Monarch butterflies who dine on the nectar-rich blooms on their long-distance, southward journeys.

Name: Symphyotrichum

Growing Conditions: Full sun in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide

Zones: 4-8

21 of 25

Salvia

salvia violet riot in bloom

Bursting into bloom in early summer, perennial salvia develops bold spikes of purple, blue, or pink flowers atop pretty gray-green foliage. A sun worshipper, salvia isn't too fussy about soil type and will bloom again if you shear away the flower spikes after they fade. Perennial salvia attracts hordes of bees and butterflies when in bloom. It pairs beautifully with black-eyed Susan and coreopsis.

Name: Salvia

Growing Conditions: Full sun in dry to medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 2 feet tall and wide

Zones: 4-8

Buy It: Azure Snow Salvia ($18, Breck's)

22 of 25

Russian Sage

Russian Sage Perennial Plant
Peter Krumhardt

The perfect partner for coneflower and black-eyed Susan, Russian sage produces clouds of bluish flowers in the late summer and fall. This easy-to-grow woody perennial has fragrant gray-green leaves that look terrific even when the plant isn't in bloom. In some regions, this mint-relative can grow a little too well, spreading itself aggressively by seeds and underground stems, so plant where you can keep it contained.

Name: Perovskia atriplicifolia

Growing Conditions: Full sun in dry to medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 5 feet tall and 4 feet wide

Zones: 5-9

Buy It: Blue Jean Baby Russian Sage ($17, Breck's)

23 of 25

Joe Pye Weed

eupatorium joe-pye weed
Dean Schoeppner

A big, bold native perennial, Joe Pye weed will quickly fill sunny spots in your landscape. It thrives in moist soil so use it in problem wet spots in your landscape. It's also a reliable fall bloomer, developing rounded heads of pinkish purple flowers that will attract scores of colorful butterflies. This hardy native has a tendency to spread, so plant it where you can keep it under control.

Name: Eutrochium

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in dry to medium, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 7 feet tall and 4 feet wide

Zones: 4-9

Buy It: Joe Pye Weed Seeds ($7, Walmart)

24 of 25

Asiatic Lily

detail shot of asiatic lily blooms
Bob Stefko

The chalice-shape, upward-facing flowers of Asiatic lily are always a highlight in the summer garden. Available in a host of colors and bicolors, Asiatic lily seems to glow when the sun touches its petals. Although Asiatic lily can be planted in the spring, the plants tend to do better when started in August or September.

Name: Lilium

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide

Zones: 4-8

Buy It: Pink Asiatic Lily ($10, Etsy)

25 of 25

Lady's Mantle

Lady's mantle
Matthew Benson

Add a bit of texture to your landscape with lady's mantle. This perennial has unique cupped leaves with a velvety texture, on which drops of water remain after a rain like small gems. It also features dainty yellow flowers held in airy masses above the foliage in summer until the blooms become too heavy and then gracefully droop down. The flowers last for several weeks and are excellent for both cut and dried flower arrangements.

Name: Alchemilla mollis

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade in medium moist, well-drained soil

Size: Up to 18 inches tall and 30 inches wide

Zones: 3-8

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