Adding perennials to your garden can be a smart and rewarding decision. Not only do they last longer but they also add texture, color, and interest to any landscape. Perennials come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors making them incredibly versatile. They are also relatively low maintenance compared to annuals, making them a great choice for busy gardeners who don’t want the hassle of replanting each year. These plants can also provide food sources for pollinators, improve air quality by releasing oxygen into the environment and attract beneficial wildlife such as birds and butterflies. With their many benefits, it’s no wonder why it is an advantageous to add perennials to your garden!
Over the last few years, there have been some wonderful new perennials introduced in the United States that might have gone unnoticed because of the pandemic. Recently some of the plant breeders went back and reviewed some of their preferred new perennials. We went through their selections and came up with our favorite ones.
Here are our top picks by blooming season:
Alyssum wulfenianum ‘Golden Spring’ – Golden Spring will deliver your garden some wow early in the season. The plant brings masses of golden flowers from April – May and helps you transition your garden from spring to summer. The foliage holds up well in the heat and stays evergreen. The plant grows 6-8 inches tall and 12 to 14 inches wide. Plant in a sunny location with well-draining soil. Hardiness zones 4-9.
Starstruck Amsonia – This plant has beautiful star-shaped blue flowers. The common name is Blue Star. It is a compact plant with vibrant wide green leaves. It blooms in the late spring through early summer. The plant is native to the United States and does well in the south. It will do well in full sun to partial shade and grows 20 inches tall and 32-38 inches wide. Amsonia is heat and humidity tolerant as well as deer resistant. Hardiness zones 4-8.
Sunset Orange Ruffles Gaillardia – This gaillardia is the world’s first double-flowered blanket flower. There are two rows of flat petals. The flowers have a unique sun-kissed orange tone and the foliage is gray-green. The blooms are colorfast and age well. The plant also has a long bloom period from early spring through fall. These plants are drought-tolerant and love the sun. It is ideal for pollinator gardens. Hardiness zones 5-10.
Agastache Rosie Posie – This plant delivers lots of hot pink flowers with magenta-purple calyxes. With the colorful calyxes, the plant looks like it is blooming long after it is finished. The foliage is bright green and aromatic. It loves the full sun and is drought-tolerant. It grows 18-24 inches tall and 24-30 inches wide. It is a pollinator-friendly plant. Hardiness zones 5-9.
Digitalis Artic Fox Rose – This plant is also known as Foxglove and has trademark tubular flowers on top of tall stately stems. It is a true perennial, not a biannual, with its long-blooming flowers and is hardy in northern gardens. A great pollinator attractor, plant it in a sunny garden location or place it on a sunny patio. Remove old flowers as they become unsightly to encourage fresh, new flowering shoots. It blooms from summer through fall and grows 18-24 inches tall. Hardiness zones 5-9.
Penstemon Blackbeard - Penstemon Blackbeard has lilac purple flowers with white flaring tubes and purple stems. The dark eggplant purple foliage makes it a real standout in the garden. This plant does well in the heat but is also cold-hardy. The plant is easy to grow and drought-tolerant. This color will hold up in your landscape all season long. Hardiness zones 3-8.
Salvia Blue By You – Salvia Blue By You is an All-American Selection Winner. If you are looking for a touch of blue in your garden, this is the perennial for you. This salvia blooms two weeks earlier than other salvias. It flowers from late spring through fall. Deadhead the plant throughout the season for more blooms. Loved by hummingbirds and butterflies, but not liked by rabbits and deer. It has great winter hardiness and heat tolerance. Hardiness zones 4-9.
Aster Grape Crush – Aster Grape Crush will bring very rich, dark purple flowers and dark green foliage to a garden. These flowers attract pollinators in the fall. They grow 26-30 inches tall and 40-44 inches wide. This sun-loving plant is a perfect finale for any garden season. Hardiness zones 3-8.
Helianthus Autumn Gold – With Autumn Gold you will have flowers long after all the other plants have finished. The stunning daisy-like yellow flowers will brighten any garden. The plant has very good branching and will not flop over as it stands 24-26 inches tall. It will bring late-season butterflies to your garden. It is rabbit resistant and makes an excellent cut flower. Hardiness zones 5-10.
Heliopsis Summer Eclipse – Summer Eclipse has dark burgundy-green foliage and stems topped with bright orange and yellow bicolor flowers. The plant has good branching and does not get floppy. It makes a great addition to any sunny garden location. It is pollinator-friendly and blooms July – September. It grows 24-30 inches tall. Hardiness zones 4-9.
Let us know if you add any of these perennials to your garden!
Sunset Orange Ruffles Gaillardia photo courtesy of Jill Mazur
Alyssum wulfenianum ‘Golden Spring’, Salvia Blue By You, and Heliopsis Summer Eclipse photos courtesy of Darwin Perennials and Ball Seed Horticulture
Starstruck Amsonia, Penstemon Blackbeard, and Aster Grape Crush photos courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc
Digitalis Artic Fox Rose, Agastache Rosie Posie, and Helianthus Autumn Gold photos courtesy of Proven Winners