15 Perennials You Can’t Kill

Discover tough-as-nails perennials you don’t need a green thumb to grow.

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Photo By: Image courtesy of White Flower Farm.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2010, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Image courtesy of PerennialResource.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of PerennialResource.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of PerennialResource.com

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Photo courtesy of White Flower Farm

Photo By: Image courtesy of Felicia Feaster

©2009, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Shasta Daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum)

A daisy is a classic, beloved flower, and Shasta daisy tames the wild part of this beauty to make it a solid garden performer. Choose shorter varieties like ‘Snowcap’ to prevent flopping and avoid staking. Clip spent blooms to extend the flower show for months. Combines well with: daylily, rudbeckia and catmint. Hardy in Zones 4 to 9.

‘Perry’s Blue’ Siberian Iris (Iris sibirica ‘Perry’s Blue’)

Siberian iris brings on the color in spring, with flowers lingering about 4 weeks. Site in full sun to part shade and in various soil types, from dry, to boggy, to clay. Dry soils result in shorter plants. Let seedheads remain for winter interest. Combines well with: daylily, shasta daisy and roses. Hardy in Zones 3 to 9.

Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)

Bee balm blooms stage floral fireworks in the garden. Blossoms resemble pincushions and beckon many pollinators, including butterflies, hummingbirds and bees. Flowers best in full sun but you still get a show in part shade. Combines well with: purple coneflower, Shasta daisy and rudbeckia. Hardy in Zones 3 to 9.

Ostrich Fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris)

Feathery leaves fill part to full shade with beautiful green texture. Ostrich ferns do spread aggressively when happy; use care siting it near cherished plants. Combines well with: hosta, sweet woodruff or spring wildflowers, like trillium or trout lily. Hardy in zones 3 to 9.

‘Stella de Oro’ Daylily (Hemerocallis ‘Stella de Oro’)

Golden lily-type flowers punctuate a mound of strappy leaves. This is a reblooming daylily, so you can expect blossoms to open all season long. Full sun coaxes the most flowers to form. Combines well with: Siberian iris, purple coneflower and bee balm. Hardy in zones 3 to 9.

Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Purplish-pink petals dangle around an orange-brown central spiky cone. Bees, butterflies and hummingbirds visit these flowers. Cut blossoms for bouquets. Combines well with: bee balm, toadlily, Siberian iris and Russian sage. Hardy in Zones 3 to 8.

‘Gold Standard’ Hosta (Hosta ‘Gold Standard’)

Broad oval leaves bring on the color with deep green edges skirting lighter green centers. Leaf centers fade to gold during summer. This hosta tolerates dry soil better than other hostas. Combines well with astilbe, sweet woodruff and ferns. Hardy in Zones 3 to 9.

Lily-of-the-Valley (Convallaria majalis)

Celebrate spring with the dainty white bells of lily-of-the-valley. These perfumed blooms hold up well in the garden or vase. Tuck into part to full shade for a deer-resistant show. Combines well with: ostrich fern, toad lily and sweet woodruff. Hardy in Zones 2 to 7.

‘Goldsturm’ Rudbeckia (Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’)

This classic bloomer opens bright yellow daisies with dark brown to black centers. Spreads easily, giving you plenty of flowers to enjoy in the garden or vase. Pollinators visit blossoms, followed by birds that come to feast on seeds. Combines well with: Siberian iris, catmint and Shasta daisy. Hardy in Zones 3 to 10.

Toadlily (Tricyrtis hirta)

Exotic orchid-like blooms appear on plants in autumn and continue to open until frost. Plants are sturdy, withstanding full shade and clay soil. Deer leave these bloomers alone. Plants can spread aggressively when happy. Site them accordingly. Combines well with: hosta, astilbe and ostrich fern. Hardy in Zones 4 to 8.

Daffodil (Narcissus hybrids)

Greet spring with the cheery yellow flowers of daffodils. These easy-grows-it bulbs last for years in the garden. Critters leave both bulbs and blooms alone, and clumps spread over time. Look for varieties with pink, orange and white flowers. Combines well with: lily-of-the-valley, Siberian iris and Shasta daisy. Hardy in Zones 3 to 8.

Catmint (Nepeta hybrids)

Edge your garden with a flounce of gray-green leaves topped with spikes of lavender blooms. The flowers start in spring on this perennial and don’t stop until fall. Clip stems midsummer to keep them in bounds. Pollinators love catmint, while deer and rabbits leave it alone. Many varieties are available in different sizes. Combines well with: daylily, Shasta daisy and bee balm. Hardy in Zones 3 to 8.

Mint (Mentha hybrids)

Bright green leaves packed with minty fragrance and flavor make this perennial herb a welcome refreshment. Gather leaves for culinary use or simply enjoy brushing by them in the garden. Mint can spread aggressively. Take steps to contain this rambling beauty. Explore the many varieties available to find different leaf flavors and colors, along with different plant sizes. Combines well with: ostrich fern, bee balm and daffodils. Hardy in Zones 5 to 9.

Goldenrod (Solidago hybrids)

Goldenrod explodes in autumn with bright yellow blooms. The floral fireworks attract pollinators aplenty, making this a good choice for wildlife gardens. Plants spread by underground stems. Simply pull them when they wander beyond their bounds. The variety ‘Fireworks’ has a tidy size that suits smaller gardens. Combines well with: toad lily, catmint and Siberian iris. Hardy in Zones 4 to 8.

Bishop’s Weed (Aegopodium podagraria ‘Variegatum’)

Variegated green and white leaves create an eye-catching edging to planting beds in full sun to full shade. Lacy white flowers appear above the mound of foliage from late spring to early summer. This plant spreads by underground stems. It’s nearly impossible to kill, since the smallest piece of root generates a new plant. Combines well with: bee balm, rudbeckia and daffodils. Hardy in Zones 4 to 9.