It is the time of year when we review our top perennials.  Perennials are favored by many people for a variety of reasons. These plants have gained popularity due to their longevity, low maintenance requirements, and their variation which can add beauty to any garden or landscape.

These plants have adapted to various climates and conditions, making them more likely to withstand harsh weather or environmental challenges. This makes them a reliable choice for gardeners who want low-maintenance plants that can withstand different seasons. 

Growing perennials can be cost-effective in the long run. While initial investment may be slightly higher compared to annuals due to purchasing established plants or divisions rather than seeds, the fact that they return year after year eliminates the need for frequent replacements.

Starting in fifth place is a new perennial Sedum telephium After Dark. While we have selected other sedums in the past, we loved the coloring of this plant.  It has dark purple foliage that appears almost black in the landscape. In the late summer garnet red flowers appear from black buds. It is an excellent plant for hot and dry locations in the garden.  It is very easy to grow and thrives in full sun and dry, well-drained soil. It is low maintenance and does not need to be fertilized.  It is a pollinator attractor especially liked by bees and butterflies.  The plant is heat and drought tolerant and rabbit resistant. Hardiness zones 3-9.

Number four on our list is Goldenrod. Goldenrod, with its vibrant yellow flowers and hardy nature, has become a favorite perennial plant for many people. The bright yellow flowers add a pop of color to any garden or landscape, creating a visually pleasing display. Its tall and graceful stalks make it an eye-catching addition to flower beds, borders, or even wildflower meadows. It can thrive in various soil types and environmental conditions, making it suitable for different regions. This adaptability makes it an ideal choice for both novice and experienced gardeners who may have varying levels of expertise or challenging growing conditions. Hardiness zones 4-9.

In third place is Echinacea Double Scoop™. This series of double flowering plants is eye-catching. It comes in many different colors including raspberry, lemon cream, and orangeberry. There are four new deluxe colors available in 2024 (raspberry deluxe, orangeberry deluxe, strawberry deluxe, and watermelon deluxe). These plants are known for their clean leaves and brilliantly colored blooms. Compared to other Echinacea flowers this series is more compact and has a higher flower count. Plant them in full sun and well-drained, fertile soil. Deadheading will prolong the flowering period.  They are drought tolerant and deer-resistant. Hardiness zones 4-9.

Kniphofia came in second place. Kniphofia is commonly known as "red hot poker" or "torch lily”. The plant is famous for its striking and vibrant flowers. The tall flower spikes, which resemble torches or poker-like shapes, come in various shades of red, orange, yellow, and even green. These eye-catching blooms not only add a pop of color to any garden but also attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. It can also thrive in different climates and soil conditions. It is known for its resilience and adaptability, making it suitable for both temperate and subtropical regions. It has a long blooming period during the summer months. Hardiness zones 6-9.

Now for our top pick for the year, it is Verbena. This flowering plant is known for its vibrant colors and delicate blooms. Verbena brings beauty and charm to outdoor spaces. It is highly regarded for its ability to thrive in various growing conditions. It is adaptable and can withstand both heat and drought, making it an ideal choice for gardens in regions with challenging climates. It is relatively disease-resistant and can tolerate neglect to some extent. This makes it an excellent option for busy gardeners or those who are new to gardening. Another appealing aspect of verbena is its long blooming period. Verbena comes in a wide range of varieties, offering options for different preferences and design styles. Whether you prefer cascading varieties for hanging baskets or compact forms for borders and containers, there is a Verbena variety in many colors suitable for every garden style. Hardiness zones 6-9.

Let us know your favorite perennial of the year!

Sedum telephium After Dark photo courtesy of Darwin Perennials

Echinacea Double Scoop photos courtesy of Ball Seed 

Verbena photo courtesy of Jill Mazur

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