Colorful Perennial Flowers


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When looking for perennial flowers for your garden, you might be just looking for those that you find colorful and exciting.
However, you might also be looking for specific colors, heights, textures, sizes, low maintenance perennials and so on.


Here I have listed some that are wonderful plants.

I often use these in my designs due to their flower colors, the fact that they are low maintenance, and they are also long blooming.

Years ago I worked in a large garden center and managed the perennial department. Throughout the seasons, I was able to see which plants were the better ones.


Who wants perennial flowers that look good for a week or two followed by a sick looking plant?


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My Favorite Perennials

Here are pictures and some information for those I really like. The descriptions are based on my own experiences with these plants.

Note: Zones are general. Check your planting zone and then the specific zones specified for that variety as they can vary.



Related Pages: Xeriscape Plants - Ground Cover Perennial - Easy To Grow Flowers - Long blooming Perennials - Purple Perennials - Blue Flowers - Shade Loving Perennials - Ornamental Grass - Easy To Grow Roses - Sun Perennials - Hydrangea Plant - Flowering Vine Plants - Flower Garden Design - Perennial Garden Design - English Garden Design - Cottage Garden Design


Catmint

Catmint with its long lasting blue flowers is a winner.
Catmint is long blooming and drought tolerant.

I stumbled on the variety 'Walker's Low' a few years ago. It gets to be about 30 inches in diameter and blooms almost all summer with soft purple flowers. One of the great features is that it is extremely drought resistant.

Because of the delicate foliage, Catmint plant looks nice with perennials or shrubs nearby that have wider leaves. Fountain Grass, a lovely ornamental grass or Daylilies are good choices.

I am a stickler for placing plants next to each other that have different textures.

Perennials with pink, white or dark purple flowers look great next to this plant.

Zones 4 - 9


Coneflower

Coneflower is a late summer bloomer.
Beautiful Coneflower.

Coneflower comes in many shades of pinks. They have some newer interesting varieties that are a honey color, and of course they come in white. It's one of the more hardy perennial flowers and does not need a lot of water.

The flowers are rather large and showy and it is a mid-summer bloomer in the flower garden. Although they are not fussy, a good drink of water during hot spells will make it even happier.

They are available in many different heights, from fairly short to quite tall.

Zones 4 - 9

Geraninium 'Johnson's Blue'

A beautiful perennial called Geranium 'Johnson's Blue'.

This is a very long flowering perennial. I would say it flowers here on my slope almost all summer...not many do that! Shown here next to Fountain Grass and Sedum 'Autumn Joy'.

There is another on to consider which is just as lovely and flowers just as long. It is called Geranium 'Roxanne'.

Zones 4 - 8

Sedum 'Autumn Joy'

Sedum 'Autumn Joy'

The variety 'Autumn Joy' is a reliable standby. If you ignore it, it hardly suffers. Just do not over water it. It's a great perennial for late season blooms and the colors are a soft pink.

Sedums typically have thick leaves, which create a nice contrasting texture to other perennials. As mentioned above, paying attention to foliage textures is important to make each individual plant, or group of plants, stand out.

Zones 4 - 11


Lavender 'Hidcote'

Lavender looks nice alone, but particularly with roses.

I personally like the variety 'Hidcote', which is another one of my favorite perennial flowers. It gets to be larger than 'Munstead'. It's very low maintenance, has a fairly long bloom period and it is also drought resistant. This means it needs very little water and is very low maintenance!

And I love the lavender fragrance. Cut the stems to bring in the house or make some potpourrie with it!

The grayish foliage is interesting near many other types of perennials.

Lavender also looks particularly well with roses in a garden design. You can add it as a lower layer, letting it form a nice color contrast. 

Zones 5 - 9

Butterfly Bush

Butterfly bush is a perennial that attracts butterflies.
Butterflies flock to this perennial.

You can get a Butterfly Bush that grows quite large or one that is more contained…about four feet tall and wide. This is more manageable in most perennial gardens, although sometimes the larger ones are more appropriate. I currently grow one of the larger varieties, 'Pink Delight'.

Butterfly Bush is another drought resistant perennial shrub and blooms for a long period. Pinch back the spent perennial flowers to extend the bloom. Cut this plant down in the early spring...don't be afraid. This flowering plant prefers to be cut down in the spring rather than the fall.

Butterflies flock to the perennial flowers on this plant!

Zones 5 - 9

Daylily

Daylily. Perennial for the sun.
Daylilies for summer color and the sun.

Most Daylilys bloom once for about 3 weeks and there are tons of colors to choose from. Each flower lasts for one day, but there are so may that you hardly notice this.

Stella D'Oro (yellow flowers) is one variety that is a repeat bloomer. It will flower, then rest, flower, rest, etc., throughout the season. The flower color is yellow.

If you don't care that much about having repeat blooms, you can choose from Daylilys in a huge variety of colors. These perennial flowers are quite showy when in bloom!

Zones 4 - 11


Salvia

Salvia for a sunny perennial garden.

Salvia is available in purples, pinks and whites.

Different varieties have different leaves, but the perennial flowers of all of them are beautiful.

As with the Butterfly Bush, pinch the spent flowers off to produce additional blooms.

Although there are quite a few nice varieties of Salvia, I especially like 'May Night" and "Cardonna".

It has wider leaves than some of the others and is blooms all season look. It was selected as Perennial Plant of the Year in 1997 and I grow it in my own garden.

Zones 4 - 9


Veronica

Veronica loves the sun.
Veronica is similar to Salvia.

This perennial is very similar to Salvia…in fact on quick glance it is easy to get them confused. They have the same spiky flowers. Veronica also comes in purples, pinks and white colors.

Sometimes white is needed to break up all the pink and purple perennial flowers(if that is your color scheme).

Veronica 'Icicles" is a nice white perennial to use.

But the one I think is intriguing is 'Foxy Lady' because it has both white and a lavender-pink in the flowers...it's also not very large so can easily be used in the front of other plants.

Zones 4 - 7,8


Gaura

Gaura is a perennial that attracts butterflies and is very hardy.

When talking about types of perennials, Gaura is a less common one used in flower garden design. But it's a lovely one. It's about two feet tall and has an open pattern that is delicate. The flowers are delicate also…a very pretty plant. Butterflies are attracted to this plant...and added feature.

Zones 5,6 - 9

Baby's Breath

Baby's Breath provides a nice texture with other perennials.

This is the same flower that you might have seen in rose flower arrangements. The plant is open and provides a nice, contrasting texture to many other perennial plants in the garden. Mostly white, it does come in pink. (The red flower is a Poppy!)


Delphinium

Delphinium is an old fashioned perennial.

Ahhh, the old-fashioned Delphinium. It's gorgeous!

Its downfall is that it is a little temperamental when it comes to hardiness, so you may find that it doesn't return.

If you love this perennial plant, just know that you might wind up treating it as an annual and re-plant each season.

Zones 3 - 7 (Supposedly)


Coreopsis 'Moonbeam'

Coreopsis Moonbeam is a nice pale yellow perennial.

I like Coreopsis 'Moonbeam'. The small daisy-like flowers are a soft yellow, and this plant is a repeat bloomer throughout the season.

Actually, there are not many perennials that bloom all season, but this is one of them.

So it's a great addition to any garden.

The yellow is not bright and goes with many other colors.

Zones 3 - 9


Lady's Mantle

Lady's Mantle is a perennial for great foliage.

This is another less common type of perennial. Its perennial flowers are a "puff" of soft, greenish-yellow blooms. Its outstanding feature is its leaves. They are a very pretty shape, rather large, and collect droplets of water when they get wet.

Lady's Mantle is a nice addition to a perennial garden design to add just some pretty greenery and delicate flowers. I have this in my garden and it those pretty large leaves always look great with whatever is next to it.

Zones 3 - 9

Aster

Aster for fall flowers.
Asters are showy fall perennials.
Purple Asters in the fall.

Aster is a late summer/fall blooming perennial.

It comes in many colors and mixes well with Sedums and ornamental grasses.

For example place a few Asters near Fountain Grass 'Hameln' for an outstanding change in leaf textures.

In addition they will both be at there best around the same time.

Zones 4,5 -  8,9


Black-Eyed Susan

Blackened Susans for perennial fall color.

These perennial flowers have daisy like blooms in a gold color.

It flowers late in the season, and therefore is a nice addition in flower garden designs so that you will have color when many other plants have finished flowering.

This picture is of the most well-known Black Eyed Susan. However, there are many other kinds. Some have orange centers and others grow to three feet tall!

Consider using this late blooming perennial with others that also flower later, such as Russian Sage and Fountain Grass.

Zones 3 - 9


Liatris

Liatris is a sun loving perennial with nice vertical flowers.
Liatris can get quite tall.

This is a nice midsummer blooming plant with spikes of sharp deep pink flowers. It's quite showy when in flower.

When not in flower the foliage looks like a low ornamental grass. But when it flowers, it gets much taller and gets more colorful as each day passes.

Zones 4 - 9


Hibiscus

Hibiscus perennial is a nice larger addition to the garden.

The perennial Hibiscus has huge, gorgeous flowers that are very eye-catching. I wouldn't use it if you only have a few perennials, since after it flowers it doesn't look that great. However, if you can mix it in with numerous other plants, it's worth considering.

There is also an annual Hibiscus and a shrub Hibiscus, known as Rose of Sharon.

Zones 4 - 10


Campanula 'Blue Clips'

Campanula will take some shade.

There are many types of Campanula perennials. Some are tall and some are low, so they can be used in many areas of the perennial garden design.

I happen to like 'Blue Clips'. It is very pretty and low so can be used in front of other perennials or even low shrubs.

Many come in beautiful shades of blue, which is a flower color that is harder to find.

Typically, Campanulas like some shade. You can have many different varieties of this flowering perennial and create a "blue" garden.

Zones 4 - 9


Yarrow

Yarrow is very drought tolerant and low maintenance.

Here is another drought resistant that I have to add to this list of perennial flowers. It comes in many colors and has interesting gray/green foliage.

Pale yellow, bright yellow, pink (photo), white, and red are Yarrow's flower colors. This is a medium height plant.

I have this in my garden and I can tell you that it had hardly any water last summer (I neglected it) and it flourished. I even cut it back and it grew all over again with some more blooms! I had the pink one and it was very, very pretty. It can spread and get wide, but cutting it back after the first flush of blooms keeps it in check.

Zones 3 - 9

Russian Sage

Russian Sage Perennial

Russian Sage is one of those very showy mid-summer bloomers! Plant them in masses for a great affect.

Zones 4 - 10


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"Susan,  what a pleasure it was to work with you.  You made me feel like I was your only client - responding late at night and always so quickly!  Your design is amazing and we only hope we can do justice to it when we plant.  You have such fantastic ideas and you are so open to suggestions and changes.  Loved working with you - now if you could only come to Canada and plant it!!!"
Helen, Ontario-Canada 


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