20 Perennials for Season-Long Color

Fill your yard with non-stop color using perennial flowers.
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©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

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©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Image courtesy of PerennialResource.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of PerennialResource.com

Pasque Flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris)

This hairy stemmed beauty pushes out new growth in early spring when snow is often still on the ground. Blooms open in shades of striking purple as leaves are unfurling. Flowers typically linger about three weeks. Pasque flower likes a well-drained, limey soil. Landscape use: Tuck in rock gardens, or use as an edging plant. Hardy in Zones 4 to 8.

‘Penny’s Pink’ Lenten Rose (Helleborus ‘Penny’s Pink’)

Ignite late winter scenery with the pink blooms of Lenten rose. Leathery evergreen leaves boast striking venation that’s eye-catching when plants aren’t in flower. Blossoms open as early as February in regions with mild winters and linger eight weeks—and often longer. Landscape use: Include in perennial beds or skirted around deciduous shrubs. Hardy in Zones 4 to 9.

Creeping Phlox (Phlox subulata)

Also known as moss phlox, creeping phlox forms a solid ground cover that bursts into bloom in spring. Colorful flowers open in a range of hues, including pink, lavender and white. Flowering window depends on how fast spring heats up, but the show can linger up to six weeks or more. Showcase plants by letting them cascade over stones and walls. Hardy in Zones 3 to 9.

Rue anemone (Anemonella thalictroides)

Small, one-inch-wide pink or white blooms open above gray-green leaves. Flowers appear in mid-spring and last up to eight weeks. This showy beauty tolerates drought and heavy shade. Landscape use: Include in a shady border or woodland garden. Naturalizes to create a carpet of color. Hardy in Zones 4 to 8.

‘Jack Frost’ Heart-leaf Brunnera (Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’)

Sprays of blue flowers appear above leaves through spring. Richly-variegated leaves look fantastic until fall frost. Landscape use: Include in perennial beds, shady borders or beneath high-canopied trees. Hardy in Zones 3 to 10.

‘Popsicle Mix’ Lupine (Lupinus ‘Popsicle Mix’)

Spikes of pink, purple, red, yellow and bicolor blooms stand above a mound of fan-shaped leaves. Flowers start opening in late spring and linger through early summer, yielding at least three weeks of color. Landscape use: Looks best planted in mass or paired with roses. Lupine makes a good addition to a cottage garden. Hardy in Zones 3 to 6.

Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla mollis)

Velvety, gray-green leaves hold their own long after chartreuse blooms fade. Frothy flowers open from late spring to early summer, covering a 4-week window. Clip blossoms for bouquets. Landscape use: Edge plantings or skirt shrub roses. Hardy in Zones 3 to 7.

Peach-Leaved Bellflower (Campanula persicifolia)

Bellflower opens blue or white blooms in early to midsummer. Flower stems make great additions to garden bouquets. Give plants average soil in full sun to part shade. In warmer zones, protect plants from hot afternoon sun. Divide this bellflower every four years—sooner if plant growth diminishes. Also harvest and transplant offset plants surrounding the mother plant. Peach-leaved bellflower is hardy in Zones 3 to 7.

Yellow Corydalis (Corydalis lutea)

Lemon yellow flowers have spurs and stand above blue-green, fern-like leaves. Flowering window extends up to five months. Plants self-sow freely, almost to the point of invasiveness. Landscape use: Tuck into shady borders, atop rock walls or in dry areas. Hardy in Zones 5 to 8.

Russian Sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia)

Clouds of purple blooms top silvery stems covered with ferny gray-green leaves. Flowers open from late summer through mid-fall—roughly 12 weeks. The entire plant has a soothing herbal sage fragrance. Landscape use: Open form combines well with many perennials and is gorgeous paired with orange flowers. Hardy in Zones 4 to 9.

‘Midnight Marvel’ Rose Mallow (Hibiscus ‘Midnight Marvel’)

Dark purple leaves paired with scarlet flowers make this perennial a true showstopper. Blooms open 8 to 9 inches across from midsummer through early fall—roughly eight to 10 weeks. Landscape use: Place in mixed borders as a shrub. It looks especially sharp planted next to a lighter-colored partner, like variegated red twig dogwood. Hardy in Zones 4 to 9.

‘Bright Eyes’ Garden Phlox (Phlox paniculata ‘Bright Eyes’)

Stately 2- to 3-foot stems sport large flower heads. The blooms open in pale pink with a deep rose center from mid- to late summer—roughly seven to 10 weeks. Remove spent blooms, and fall flowering can occur. Landscape use: Tuck into a sunny flower bed, cutting garden or butterfly garden. Hardy in Zones 3 to 9.

‘Cherry Cheeks’ Daylily (Hemerocallis ‘Cherry Cheeks’)

Daylilies are one of the easiest perennials to grow, and ‘Cherry Cheeks’ is no exception. The cherry pink blooms open in midsummer for roughly six weeks. Other daylily varieties flower at different times. Some bloom all season. Landscape use: Line paths, mix into flower beds or use to accent foundation shrubs. Hardy in Zone 3 to 9.

‘Goldsturm’ Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’)

Sunny yellow blooms with dark centers are a perennial favorite. Flowers open steadily from early summer through fall if you snip spent blossoms. Landscape use: Include in cutting, cottage or butterfly gardens. Also a great choice in a xeriscape garden. Hardy in Zones 3 to 10.

Rozanne Geranium (Geranium ‘Gerwat’)

Pretty violet-blue blossoms have deeper purple veins and white centers. This beauty flowers non-stop from late spring through fall frost in all but the hottest regions. Landscape use: Include in cottage or rock gardens. Pair with ‘Lucifer’ Crocosmia (shown) for a sizzling garden combination. Hardy in Zones 5 to 8.

‘Fireworks’ Goldenrod (Solidago rugosa ‘Fireworks’)

Golden flowers start opening along 18-inch-long blossom stems in late summer. The floral fireworks continue until mid-autumn, giving a display that’s 6+ weeks long. Landscape use: Terrific choice for a rain, cottage or butterfly garden. Hardy in Zones 4 to 8.

Hadspen Abundance Bears Deep Pink Blooms

Anemone hupehensis, Hadspen Abundance, has dark pink, two toned flowers that occur in abundance and rise above the foliage on branched stems from August to October. It is beautiful in the woodland garden or border and planted in masses.

‘Purple Dome’ New England Aster (Aster novae-angliae ‘Purple Dome’)

Royal purple flowers with gold centers burst on the scene in August each year. Blooms linger through late September, providing roughly six to eight weeks of color. Landscape use: Pair with pink shrub roses and yellow daylilies for a season-long flower show. Hardy in Zones 3 to 8.

‘Rossano Orange’ Garden Mum (Chrysanthemum ‘Rossano Orange’)

Beautiful orange blooms bring a subtle shade of this autumn hue to the garden. Fall garden mums typically flower from September to frost, giving you from six to eight weeks or more of color. Landscape use: Line a path, include in a perennial border or grow in containers. Hardy in Zones 5 to 9.

‘Autumn Anthem’ Maiden Grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Autumn Anthem’)

Vase-shaped grassy mound has blades lined with narrow white bands in the center. Flowering plumes start appearing in early fall and can linger all winter long. Landscape use: Let it fill the role of specimen shrub, or add to cottage or perennial gardens for a vertical accent. Hardy in Zones 5 to 9.