Colorful Perennials for Big Impact

These heavy hitters will make your garden pop with color.

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Photo By: Courtesy of Plant Stock Photos

Photo By: Courtesy of Plant Stock Photos

Photo By: Courtesy of Plant Stock Photos

Photo By: Courtesy of Plant Stock Photos

Photo By: Courtesy of Plant Stock Photos

Photo By: Courtesy of Plant Stock Photos

Photo By: Courtesy of Plant Stock Photos

Photo By: Courtesy of Plant Stock Photos

Photo By: Courtesy of Plant Stock Photos

Photo By: Photo Courtesy of Bailey Nurseries 

Photo By: Photo Courtesy of Bailey Nurseries 

Photo By: Photo Courtesy of Bailey Nurseries 

Castor Bean

If you need something to make your landscape really stand out, this list will help. These high-impact perennials offer bold textures, bountiful color and rugged durability. They will make a splash to wake up the neighborhood while addressing those mundane spaces in your garden. Castor bean, for instance offers huge, lobed leaves, interesting ornamental fruits and somewhat showy flowers. Its lush foliage adds a tropical look to temperate gardens. Hardy in zones 9-11, and grown as a warm season annual in cooler regions, it may grow to 10' tall in a single season.


Mallow, also known as French Hollyhock, forms an upright mound: 3-4 feet tall and 1.5-2 feet wide. A fantastic addition to the sunny border, it puts on a big show of satiny flowers from mid summer through fall, attracting a constant flow of butterflies and hummingbirds. 

Rose campion

Rose campion offers silvery, felted foliage and a two month profusion of flowers from late spring through early summer. Their biggest impact is from the multitudes of intensely colored flowers that invite a wide variety of pollinators to the garden.

Asiatic Lilies

The many colors and sizes of Asiatic lilies have one thing in common: their fantastic displays of color in early summer. Add them to a perennial or shrub border, or let them upstage your foundation landscape.


What makes delphinium a showstopper? True blue is pretty rare in the flowering world, and there are several shades of blue delphinium to choose from. The huge panicles are amazing, and they are quite carefree once established in a sunny or partly shaded garden.

Ice Plant

The diminutive ice plant only reaches two or three inches high, forming a mat of succulent, blue green foliage. It brings a massive display of quarter-sized shimmery purple flowers to the sunny rock garden, succulent garden or pathway edge in early to mid-summer.


Cannas are very flexible in their soil needs, from wet to dry sites. Their giant foliage is larger than life. Their bright flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Plant cannas in full sun.


If you want "daisies" then this is your plant. Boltonia brings flowers in abundance from late summer into fall. The 3'x3' mounds get absolutely covered in flowers when many of our summer favorites are headed toward dormancy.


Hollyhocks grow up to six feet tall or more, making them perhaps too large for many modern perennial gardens. However, you may want find space for one or two plants if you witness the huge flower spikes it displays in spring through early summer. Colors range from white to pink, red and yellow.

Swamp Rose Mallow

Swamp rose mallow is an American native hibiscus, growing vigorously to 5'x3'. It features shiny, deep green foliage and lots of huge flowers in white, pink or red. It tolerates, but does not require, wet soil; or it may be grown in a container. 

Summer Phlox

Summer phlox, or tall phlox, adds intense color to the sunny perennial border in mid summer. It attracts pollinators as well. Hot and dry are its conditions of choice for a splendid show.

Balloon Flower

Balloon flower is not a huge plant, but a prolific bloomer over a long season from spring through summer. It also performs well under stressful conditions like varying light and moisture conditions, adding an extremely carefree element that gardeners appreciate.


Gunnera manicata is one of the largest herbaceous perennials in the world. In it's native South American environment it grows to 10' tall and 14' wide. It's lobed, puckered leaves are typically 6-8' across! Plant this massive specimen in a moist location. Hardy in zones 7-10. 

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