15 Long-Blooming Perennials to Cover Your Garden in Color

may night salvia
Photo: Kindra Clineff

Perennial plants come back every year on their own, unlike annuals that need to be replaced after the winter. The downside of perennials: a shorter bloom time than annuals. However, you can achieve nearly continuous color with these long-blooming perennials that flower all summer long (and a few even produce flowers from spring into fall).

01 of 15

Black-Eyed Susan

Black-Eyed Susan Rudbeckia
Perry Struse

This popular, long-blooming perennial should be at the top of your list to plant. The daisy-like flowers of black-eyed Susan bloom for weeks and weeks in summer, lighting up gardens with their bright yellow petals. Plus, deer tend to avoid this drought-tolerant plant. To get additional blooms and to prevent unwanted self-seeding, deadhead the spent flowers.

Name: Rudbeckia hirta

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 3 feet tall

Zones: 3-7

02 of 15

Blanket Flower

gaillardia blanket flowers
David Speer

If you're planting a cutting garden, be sure to include blanket flower. This tough but pretty native perennial has showy red and yellow blooms from early summer into fall. It doesn't mind heat, drought, or poor soil, and pollinators such as bumblebees love it.

Name: Gaillardia × grandiflora

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 3 feet tall

Zones: 3-10

03 of 15

Garden Phlox

pink phlox bloom cluster
Bob Stefko

Leave it to garden phlox to bloom and bloom in shades of pink, purple, red, orange, and white. This fragrant beauty shows off its colorful flower clusters from July to September. Phlox is a must for a butterfly garden and it makes an excellent cut flower for bouquets, too.

Name: Phlox paniculata

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade and well-drained soil

Size: To 4 feet tall

Zones: 4-8

Buy It: Flowering Garden Phlox ($24, Lowes)

04 of 15

Perennial Geranium

purple geranium jolly bee
Matthew Benson

With more than 300 species and varieties of perennial geraniums available, you're sure to find the one that's the perfect shape, color, and size for your yard. Just be sure you don't confuse them with annual geraniums (from the genus Pelargonium) that are popular for pots—they're not related! Perennial geraniums bloom from early summer to fall and are commonly called cranesbill because their seed pods look like the beak of a crane.

Name: Geranium

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade and well-drained soil

Size: To 18 inches tall

Zones: 5-8

Buy It: Geranium Sanguineum Cranesbill ($16, Etsy)

05 of 15

Pincushion Flower

pincushion flower scabiosa with blue perennial flowers
Mark Kane

For a nonstop flower show all summer long, plant pincushion flower. Its long-stemmed blossoms gently sway over low mounds of gray-green foliage. Butterflies love its lavender-blue blooms. Deadhead this spring-blooming perennial regularly to keep its flowers coming and the plant looking tidy.

Name: Scabiosa caucasica

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 24 inches tall

Zones: 3-7

Buy It: Isaac House Pincushion Flower Blend ($16, Breck's)

06 of 15

Hibiscus

pink hibiscus moscheutos
Dean Schoeppner

Give your yard some tropical flair with native hardy hibiscus. These beautiful bloomers look like their cousins from the tropics but survive winter in cold climates. Hardy hibiscus has large, showy flowers in shades of white, pink, red, and rose that will practically stop traffic all summer long.

Name: Hibiscus moscheutos

Growing Conditions: Full sun and average, medium to wet soil

Size: To 7 feet tall

Zones: 5-9

Buy It: Exotic Hibiscus Collection ($30, Breck's)

07 of 15

Clematis

pink clematis bloom
Bob Stefko

Known as one the most beautiful flowering vines, clematis showcases large blooms that last all summer long. These vertical plants are available in many shapes and colors. Clematis looks stunning climbing any kind of structure.

Name: Clematis

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade and well-drained soil

Size: To 8 feet tall

Zones: 4-8

08 of 15

Dianthus

Dianthus 'Everlast Burgundy Blush'
Justin Hancock

Small yet plentiful, brightly colored flowers cover dianthus from early spring until frost. Even the tidy, grass-like, silver gray-green foliage has staying power, remaining through the drab months of winter.

Name: Dianthus

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 12 inches tall

Zones: 4-8

09 of 15

Threadleaf Coreopsis

Yellow Coreopsis 'Moonbeam'
Andy Lyons

The cheery yellow flowers of threadleaf coreopsis can bloom almost nonstop from late June well into fall. These perennials need to be deadheaded by shearing off old flowers, which will encourage new blooms to keep on coming. For a beautiful flower border, plant it with any purple or blue flowers, such as perennial salvia or balloon flower.

Name: Coreopsis verticillata

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 3 feet tall

Zones: 3-9

Buy It: Coreopsis verticillata 'Zagreb' ($16, Amazon)

10 of 15

False Sunflower

yellow perennial bloom
Jacob Fox

This vibrant perennial starts blooming in midsummer and struts its stuff right up to frost. False sunflower is also called oxeye sunflower because each flower has a single row of golden petals around a darker yellow center eye.

Name: Heliopsis helianthoides

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 4 feet tall

Zones: 3-9

Buy It: Oxeye Sunflower ($46, Breck's)

11 of 15

Daylily

Stella d'Oro daylily
Tom McWilliam

You'll often find daylilies growing in ditches and fields as escapees from gardens. They're super easy to grow and produce glorious trumpet-shape blooms in tons of colors. Look for everblooming or reblooming varieties for the longest flower show.

Name: Hemerocallis

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade and well-drained soil

Size: To 2 feet tall

Zones: 3-9

Buy It: Daylily Stella D'Oro Roots ($32, The Home Depot)

12 of 15

Catmint

'Six Hills Giant' Catmint
Denny Schrock

The bushy, fragrant, gray-green foliage of catmint is reason enough to grow this beautiful perennial. But it also produces masses of small lavender-blue flowers from spring to fall. Besides being attractive, this tough plant is low maintenance, easily grows in poor soil conditions, and draws pollinators.

Name: Nepeta

Growing Conditions: Full sun to part shade and well-drained soil

Size: To 30 inches tall

Zones: 4-8

13 of 15

Salvia

may night salvia
Kindra Clineff

You can count on perennial salvia to bloom all summer long, in shades of purple, blue, pink, red, and white. Most varieties of this nectar-filled plant are very drought tolerant and low maintenance.

Name: Salvia

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 24 inches tall

Zones: 4-8

14 of 15

Yarrow

Yarrow
Bob Stefko

Even beginner gardeners will find it easy to grow yarrow. It withstands heat, cold, and drought, and doesn't mind poor soil. This low-maintenance perennial blooms June through September and pairs beautifully with other drought-tolerant sun lovers, such as false indigo and purple coneflower. The blooms of yarrow also make long-lasting cut flowers that can be easily dried.

Name: Achillea

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 3 feet tall

Zones: 3-9

15 of 15

Lavender

Spanish Lavender
Laurie Black

Besides blooming all summer long, lavender offers fabulous fragrance. It's wonderful as a cut flower for fresh bouquets and equally good as a dried flower. This drought-, heat-, and wind-tolerant perennial is deer-resistant and attracts butterflies and other pollinators.

Name: Lavandula

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 3 feet tall

Zones: 5-8

Buy It: Hidcote English Lavender ($15, Breck's)

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