Perennials, or plants and flowers that come back year after year, are found in virtually every yard. Perennial flowers work in multiple situations: in whole garden beds, in combination with annuals and bulbs, as accent to shrubs and trees, and in containers and windowboxes. In addition, perennials often increase in size each year, which means they can often be divided and added to other spots in the landscape. The Better Homes and Gardens Plant Encyclopedia contains a wealth of information to help you tend to your existing perennials as well as add new and interesting plants to your landscape. The searchable tool enables you to search by perennial common or scientific name, plant characteristics, growing season, and common uses. You'll also discover what perennial plants work well in sun or shade, USDA Hardiness Zones, growing requirements, and planting suggestions for perennials. View a list of perennials by common name or scientific name below.


Hellebores are so easy and so pretty, they have a place in nearly every landscape. Their exquisite bowl- or saucer-shape flowers in white (often speckled), pinks, yellows, or maroon remain on the plant for several months, even after the petals have fallen. Deer-resistant and mostly evergreen, hellebores' divided leaves rise on sturdy stems and may be serrated (like a knife) along the edges. Grow hellebores in shade where soil remains moist; some hellebores prefer acid or alkaline conditions, depending on variety.
Read More


Not only do these plants work well in a dry garden as an architectural accent, but they also thrive in containers.
Read More

Wood fern

Turn that shady spot into a restful, green landscape by planting wood ferns. Although some ferns can be picky, wood ferns are tough, adaptable, medium-size woodland ferns with bold texture. Some species are evergreen and others are deciduous. Other common names include shield fern and buckler fern. Like most ferns, it needs rich, moist, humus-rich soil with plenty of water.
Read More

Yellow Wax Bells

A perennial with a shape and stems reminiscent of a woody shrub, yellow wax bells are named for their pretty late-summer flowers. The plant’s pendulous clusters of yellow pearl-size buds open into dainty, nodding bells. When the flowers are not in bloom, its maple-like leaves are a great backdrop for other shade-garden plants. Though it’s not a common plant, it’s easy to grow and pest-resistant, and deserves a home in almost any shade garden.
Read More

Wild Ginger

Wild ginger, a native groundcover, thrives in consistently moist, acidic soils. This spring- blooming wildflower, native to much of the U.S., is found growing in woodland areas and wooded slopes throughout the Eastern U.S. Wild ginger is a stemless plant featuring dark green heart- or kidney-shape leaves with visible veining and cup-shape purple-brown flowers that are often hidden beneath its foliage. Wild ginger makes a good groundcover for shady areas, woodland gardens, native plant gardens, edging, and naturalized areas. In Colonial times, fresh or dried roots of wild ginger were used as a ginger substitute, but wild ginger is not a relative of culinary ginger. Eating wild ginger is discouraged as it is a known carcinogen and can cause kidney problems, so stick to growing it for ornamental use only.
Read More


Yarrow is a classic garden perennial known for its ruggedness and drought tolerance. It works well in a cottage garden setting and in wildflower gardens. With its tall stems of flat blooms and fern-like foliage, this plant fits well in any garden setting.
Read More

More Perennial

How to Grow Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangeas That'll Make the Neighbors Jealous

Unusual colors in the blooms of ‘Vanilla Strawberry’ hydrangea distinguish this showy summer-flowering shrub. Here's how to grow this unique variety in your garden.
Read More


The dianthus plant is the quintessential cottage flower.
Read More


With their cheerful, whiskered faces and wide variety of colors, violets are some of the prettiest and earliest blooming plants in the garden. While many of the 500+ species are perennial, these rugged plants can also be treated as annual plants for early spring color. Because violets tolerate cold temperatures, theycan be the first flowering plants placed outdoors in the garden or containers (good news for gardeners with spring fever). Violets are extremely easy to start from seed, too. Once violets are in the ground, they will be happy to reseed for years to come.