Flowering Perennials from Spring to Fall

Plants that Give You the Most Bang for Your Buck
Turn your garden into a color show spring through fall. Here are 17 easy-to-grow flowering perennials.

Hellebore

What a beauty! Hellebores are one of the earliest perennials to bloom. The large bowl- or saucer-shape flowers are delicate and lovely. Flowers bloom in white with splashy pink, yellow, or maroon markings. Hellebores are cold-hardy, deer-resistant, and do best in lightly shaded locations.
Zones: 4-9

Common name: Christmas Rose
Botanical name: Helleborus niger
Season of Bloom:
 Winter/Early Spring

 

Virginia Bluebells

Virginia bluebells add a sea of blue flowers to woodland gardens. This adaptable wildflower creates dreamy carpets of lovely bell-like blooms. After flowering, Virginia Bluebells virtually disappear, so plant other perennials around them to continue the color show after they fade. They make ideal companions with daffodils and other spring-blooming bulbs.
Zones: 3-8

Common name: Virginia Bluebells
Botanical name: Mertensia virginica
Season of Bloom: Mid to Late Spring

Viola

This smaller cousin to the pansy offers masses of tiny, delicate flowers in spring. Violas bloom in a wide selection of colors -- white, blue, purple, yellow, and many color mixes. They add perky color to spring container gardens and window boxes. Their blooms are edible and make a colorful addition to a salad.
Zones: 2-11

Common name: Johnny Jump-Ups
Botanical name: Viola wittrockiana
Season of Bloom: Early Spring

Peony

One of the most beloved flowers in spring, this bushy perennial produces big round buds that open to large fragrant blooms. Peonies offer a variety of flower types: petal-packed doubles, semi-doubles, anemone-centered, and singles. Flowers come in bright and pastel shades: red, rose, pink, salmon, white, and yellow. Peony plants are famously long-lived and can bloom happily for decades with little care.
Zones: 3-8

Common name: Peony
Botanical name: Paeonia
Season of Bloom: Spring

Nepeta

Catmint is a beautiful addition to any garden or container. Its soft blue flowers open in spring and continue throughout the summer. The gray-green foliage is pretty, too. If you shear back plants when their blooms start to wane, you can encourage another flush of bloom. Catmint tolerates hot weather and can grow through times of drought. There is a catmint for every garden -- short varieties that make excellent edging plants and taller types that can add color to a flower border or mixed shrub landscape plan. Bees and butterflies love it!
Zones: 3-9
Common name: Catmint
Botanical name: Nepeta
Season of Bloom: Spring

Iris

The delicate crepe-paper petals and intricate bloom of the iris make it a must-have in mixed flower borders. This easy-to-grow perennial produces spearlike foliage and long stems topped with fabulous flowers. Siberian Iris blooms in spring. Classic bearded iris blooms in summer. Flower colors include white, blue, purple, orange, yellow, and pink.
Zones: 3-9

Common name: Iris
Botanical name: Iris
Season of Bloom: Late Spring/Summer

Baptisia

This native prairie plant looks stunning in a bed or border. Baptisia plants are hefty; they measure 2 to 4 feet tall and wide. In early spring, the plants are covered with long spires of blue, white, yellow, or bicolor pealike flowers. They make elegant cut flowers. Baptisia is drought tolerant and takes very little care in order to bloom for years.
Zones: 3-8

Common name: Baptisia
Botanical name: Baptisia
Season of Bloom: Late Spring

Cranesbill Geranium

Hardy, perennial geraniums differ greatly from the annual flower with the same name. The single-petal flowers of perennial geranium stay in bloom a long time so they’re a big asset in perennial borders. Small varieties reach just 6 inches tall, while larger types can grow to 4 feet. Perennial geraniums are generally drought tolerant and very easy to care for. Plants form a nice mound making them ideal bed edgers.
Zones: 5-9

Common name: Perennial Geranium
Botanical name: Geranium
Season of Bloom: Summer

Rudbeckia

Perennial Rudbeckia (black-eyed Susan) offers beautiful sunny hues -- yellow or orange flowers depending on the variety -- for beds and borders. Plus, they offer long-lasting cut flowers for bouquets. These prairie natives are easy care, drought-tolerant, deer-resistant, and attract butterflies.
Zones: 3-11

Common name: Black-eyed Susan
Botanical name: Rudbeckia
Season of Bloom: Summer/Fall

Coreopsis

Airy, sunny coreopsis is one of the easiest-care perennials in the garden. It’s a long bloomer, starting up in summer and continuing through autumn. The daisylike flowers bloom in bright yellow, but there are also varieties with golden yellow, pale yellow, pink, or bicolor blooms. Deadhead flowers to encourage additional bloom.
Zones: 3-9

Common name: Coreopsis, Tickseed
Botanical name: Coreopsis
Season of Bloom: Summer

Lysimachia

This medium-height perennial adds color and texture to beds and borders. One-inch bright yellow flowers grow alongside 3-inch leaves, covering the upper part of 3-foot stems. The leaves are dark green; there are also white-edged variegated types. This Lysimachia loves moist soil and can become invasive.
Zones: 4-8

Common name: Circle Flower, Whorled Loosestrife
Botanical name: Lysimachia punctata
Season of Bloom: Summer

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Echinacea

Purple coneflower is a prairie native and a wildlife magnet. This hardy, sturdy plant features daisylike flowers. Originally, coneflower came in purple or white, but recent hybrids have produced flowers in a rainbow of colors: yellow, orange, burgundy, cream, and shades in between. Coneflower is nearly pest and disease free. Plus, it’s a lovely and long-lasting cut flower.
Zones: 3-9

Common name: Purple Coneflower
Botanical name: Echinacea
Season of Bloom: Summer

Phlox

Fragrant and easy care, phlox are one of summer’s pleasures. Garden and meadow phlox produce large, scented blooms in white, pink, lavender, purple, and red. These beauties are ideal in mixed borders. They are a favorite of bouquet lovers; these old-fashion flowers deliver a sweet scent. There are also low-growing types -- moss pinks and creeping phlox -- that make colorful ground covers.
Zones: 4-8

Common name: Garden Phlox
Botanical name: Phlox paniculata
Season of Bloom: Summer

Foxglove

If you’re looking for a tall, showy plant for your back border, try foxglove. The tall spires are covered with a mass of blooms. Most foxgloves are actually biennials (they need two years to bloom and then die in the fall). But once you get foxglove established, they reseed, so they seem like perennials. If plants are in an open area, the tall spires may need staking to protect them from wind gusts.
Zones: 3-8

Common name: Foxglove
Botanical name: Digitalis
Season of Bloom: Summer

'Autumn Joy' Sedum

Add russet hues to your fall garden with the lovely flowers of 'Autumn Joy'. This large sedum grows 2 feet tall. The gray-green succulent leaves look stunning all summer. In late summer, they bear large green budded heads that open pink and turn russet red in autumn. Since it’s a sedum, ‘Autumn Joy’ needs little care.
Zones: 3-8

Common name: Sedum
Botanical name: Sedum
Season of Bloom: Late Summer/Fall

Russian sage

Color and texture in one plant! Russian sage offers wispy wands of lavender or blue flowers surrounded by lovely, silvery foliage. This large, shrubby perennial offers color when you need it most: in late summer and autumn. The foot-long flowers stay in bloom for weeks. Plant in drifts to enjoy the intense color; plus close planting helps avoid staking since these tall plants can flop over.
Zones: 4-9

Common name: Russian Sage
Botanical name: Perovskia atriplicifolia
Season of Bloom: Summer/Fall

Asters

The starlike flowers of asters are the fall finale of the garden. These late bloomers simply gush with color. Traditional asters flower in deep purple and lush lavender, but there are also white and pink varieties. Plants can reach up to 6 feet tall, but there are also compact versions, some of which can grow in containers or window boxes. Bees and butterflies love asters -- sipping up nectar as one of the garden's last big meals.
Zones: 3-9

Common name: Aster
Botanical name: Aster
Season of Bloom: Fall

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