What are perennials?
Perennials are those flowers that live for several years and bloom every year. Some examples of perennials would be daylilies, yarrow, daisies, and asters, just to name a very few. The great thing about perennials is that you only need to plant them once, unlike annuals that you have to plant every year. However, some people don't buy perennials because they don't have as many flowers as annuals do or they don't bloom as long as annuals bloom.
List of long- blooming perennials
Achillea filipendula and Achillea "Coronation Gold", also known as Fern-Leafed Yarrows. They prefer full sun and are drought resistant. Achillea filipendula grow 3-4 feet tall; "Coronation Gold" grow 2 to 3 feet tall and both will bloom all summer.
Alcea hybrids. Double Hollyhock. These plants grow best in full sun and will tolerate relatively dry weather. They will grow as tall as 7 feet! They have pink, yellow, or red flowers and bloom during the summer.
Anaphelsis triplineruis. Pearly Everlasting. These plants grow 10-12" in full sun or partial shade, but rot if grown in soils that are too wet. Flowers are grayish white and bloom summer to fall.
Armeria maritima. Sea Pink or Sea Thrift. They grow 6 to 8 inches tall in full sun. These plants do very well in dry, infertile soils and can even tolerate high salt conditions. Sea Pink blooms spring through summer.
Artemesia schmidtiana. Silver Mound. Silver Mound will grow 10-12" tall. It is grown best in full sun and relatively dry soils. If the soil is too wet the plant will rot; if soil is too fertile the plant won't be as full and rounded. This plant is not grown for its flowers, but for its beautiful silver leaves.
Astilbe spp. False Spirea. These plants grow 1-3 feet tall in moist soil. False Spirea grows best in partial shade. It needs moist soil; dry plants will turn brown and the leaves will fall off before they should. False Spirea comes in many colors and blooms during the summer.
Brunnera macrophylla. Siberian Bugloss. These 12-18 inch tall plants grow best in partial shade with moist soil. The light blue flowers bloom spring through summer.
Campanula carpatica. Bellflowers will grow to a height of 8-10 inches. They grow best in sunny to partially shady conditions. They are not tolerant of high heat or high humidity. Bellflowers produce blue or white flowers spring through summer.
Chrysanthemum maximum. Shasta Daisy. These plants grow best in full sun and moist soils. They grow to a height of 1-2 feet tall, with white and yellow flowers that bloom from early summer to frost.
Chrysanthemum morifolium. Hardy Mum. Grows well in full sun with well-drained soil. They grow 1-3 feet tall and are likely to need fertilizer during the summer. Hardy Mums come in many colors that will bloom from summer through frost. Clematis.
Clematis is a vine that grows best when its roots are in the shade and its leaves are in the sun - a challenge that can be solved with fencing. Clematis come in many colors and will bloom throughout summer.
Coreopsis verticillata and C. rosea. Coreopsis. Good cultivars include 'Moonbeam'and 'Zagreb'. 'Moonbeam' was the 1992 Perennial Plant of the Year. These plants do very well in dry soils and full sun. The 12-24" plants are quite drought tolerant! Yellow flowers will bloom throughout the summer.
Dianthus deltoides. Maiden Pink does well in full sun or partial shade. They grow up to 12" tall and are covered with blooms for 8-10 weeks from spring to summer. If you cut them after the first flowering, they may re-bloom.
Dicentra eximia. Fringed Bleeding Heart grows 12-18" tall in a partially shaded site with moist soil. Fringed Bleeding Heart will not tolerate wet winter or dry summer soils, but with adequate summer moisture it will bloom from early summer to fall.
Echinacea purpurea. Purple Coneflower grows 2-4 feet tall in full sun conditions. It grows best in a well-drained soil and is considered to be drought resistant. The pinkish purple flowers will bloom summer through fall. 'Magnus' is a particularly nice cultivar; it is a Pennsylvania Gardener Selects plant.
Geranium sanguineum or hybrids. Cranesbill. These geraniums can tolerate everything from full sun to partial shade. Cranesbill grows 12-18" tall in a moist, well-fertilized soil. The white and magenta flowers bloom from spring through summer.
Heliopsis cultivars. False Sunflower. These plants will grow 2-4 feet tall, depending on the cultivars you get. They can grow in full sun to partial shade conditions. False Sunflower prefers a fertile soil that does not dry out during the summer. The yellow blooms will be present from mid-summer to fall.
Hemerocallis spp. Daylilies. There are many, many cultivars of daylilies out there! The height of the plant, the color of the flower, and how long it blooms all depend on what kind of daylily you buy. No matter what cultivar you get, daylilies all do well in partial shade to full sun. Daylilies need soil that is high in organic matter but is not overly fertilized (high fertilization will mean more leaves and fewer flowers). If you pick the right lilies you could have blooms from spring right through the fall.
Heuchera sanguinea. Coral Bells grow 12-18" tall in full sun to partial conditions. They need moist soil with good organic matter; they do not do well in heavy clay soils or those with an acid pH. Coral bells produce white or pink flowers summer through fall; they do very well as border plants.
Hibiscus moscheutus. Rose Mallow. This plant can grow 4-5 feet tall and 3 feet wide! Rose Mallow can be planted in full sun or light shade. It grows best in moist soils, but is tolerant of drier ones. The yellow, pink, or red flowers are 4-6" wide and bloom summer through fall.
Hosta spp. Hostas are probably some of the most commonly used plants in shady areas. They can grow in deep shade to full sun, depending upon the cultivar. Height can vary from 8" to 3 feet tall. Hostas are often grown for their foliage, but they do have pale lavendar, white, or pink flowers that bloom spring through fall.
Lysimachia clethroide Gooseneck or Japanese Loosestrife. This loosestrife should not be confused with Purple Loosestrife, which is on the invasive species list. This loosestrife grows 2-3 feet tall in full sun, moist soil. It has white flowers that bloom during the summer.
Monarda hybrids. Monarda is also known as Bee Balm, Bergamot or Oswego Tea. These 3 feet tall plants have red, pink, or purple flowers that bloom all summer. Monarda is a good plant for your garden if you want to attract bees, butterflies, or hummingbirds. The plants do very well in full sun where soil moisture is high. These plants are not drought tolerant.
Oenothera cultivars. Evening Primrose prefers infertile, well-drained soil in full sun. It will grow into a very leggy plant if the soil is too moist or too fertile. It typically grows 12-24" tall and has yellow flowers during the summer.
Phlox paniculata. Garden Phlox grow best in a fertile, moist soil. They need fertilizer and water for the best growth. Garden Phlox can grow 2-4 feet tall. This plant often gets powdery mildew, especially if there is high humidity. The flowers are white, pink, red, or purple and will bloom all summer.
Potentilla hybrids. Cinquefoil species are highly varied in their height, bloom color, and bloom time. Some are vine-like plants that grow on the ground; others can be up to 16" tall. All cinquefoils require full sun and well-drained soil. Flowers can be yellow, white or red and will bloom from early spring to summer.
Platycodon grandiflora. Balloon Flower. These plants grow 18-24" tall and prefer well-drained, slightly acidic soil. Balloon Flowers will not do well in wet soil! They grow well in sun or partial shade. Flower color ranges from white to pink to blue. Balloon Flowers bloom during the summer and the heavy blooms should be supported or staked in some way or they may fall over.
Rudbeckia fulgida. Orange Coneflower or Black Eyed Susan. This 18-30" tall plant has bright yellow flowers that bloom summer to fall. They prefer full sun in ordinary soil. Hot, dry summers are not a problem for this plant!
Salvia superba. Meadow Sage is a 2-3 foot tall plant that does best in full sun and moist soil. Meadow Sage is tolerant of drought conditions. The blue-purple flowers will bloom from summer to fall.
Sedum spp. Stonecrop. There are many species and they all look different. Some grow only 6" tall, while others can grow up to 24" tall. The flower color ranges from red to pink, white, or yellow. Sedums prefer full sun and well-drained soil. Plants bloom from summer through fall.
Stokesia laevis. Stokes' Aster is a 12-24" tall plant that prefers full sun and a well- drained soil. They have brilliant lavender-blue flowers that bloom from summer to fall. Stokes' Aster looks nice with the warm colors of fall mums.
Veronica longifolia. Speedwells grow to about 12-18" tall in moist, fertile soils. Soil moisture is very important to get the long bloom time of 6-8 weeks during the summer. Flowers are blue.
Prepared by Lana R. Adams