13 Low-Maintenance Perennials

Discover easy-care perennials that don't need frequent division to look their best.

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Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: Image courtesy of www.PerennialResource.com

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Photo By: PerennialResource.com

Ruffled Velvet Siberian Iris (Iris sibirica ‘Ruffled Velvet’)

Siberian iris blooms in late spring and early summer in many hues including purple, pink, yellow and white. Foliage forms a mound with a grassy texture. Siberian iris doesn’t typically need dividing for five to 10 years after planting. Divide clumps that show diminished growth or smaller blooms. You can also divide to multiply plants. Divide plants in early spring as growth begins or before your region’s rainy season. Plants are hardy in Zones 3 to 8.

Old-Fashioned Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectabilis)

A traditional shade garden favorite, old-fashioned bleeding heart features beautiful pink blossoms in mid- to late spring. Blue-green leaves tend to disappear by midsummer as plants go dormant, especially in warmer regions. Bleeding heart is hardy in Zones 3 to 9. Plant it in part to full shade in moist, humusy soil. Plants can form spectacular shrubby mounds up to 10 feet across. Bleeding hearts rarely need dividing, except to curtail spread or multiply plants.

Winter Glow bergenia (Bergenia cordifolia ‘Winterglut’)

The large leaves of this perennial form a good-looking ground cover through the seasons. Bright green spring and summer color fades to reddish-purple in winter. The winter hues display best in warmer regions. Grow in a part- to full-shade site in moist soil enriched with organic matter. Bergenia is hardy in Zones 4 to 8. Divide plants every 4 to 5 years, or when clumps become open and bare in the center.

Jack Frost Brunnera (Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’)

Silver heart-shaped leaves with green veins add sparkle to the garden all season long. Light blue blooms appear above leaves in spring. Choose Jack Frost brunnera for a low-maintenance ground cover that’s slug-, deer- and rabbit-resistant. Plants thrive in consistently moist soil in part shade and are hardy in Zones 3 to 8. Divide plants as clumps enlarge and outgrow their spaces.

Elegant Candy Daylily (Hemerocallis ‘Elegant Candy’)

Sun-loving and low-maintenance, 'Elegant Candy' is a reblooming daylily, opening flowers all season long. Give this pastel beauty full sun to part shade in moist, well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Plants are hardy in Zones 3 to 11. Flowering tends to dwindle as plants age. Keep the show going strong by dividing plants every four years or so. Divide plants in early spring or after flowering. Cut back leaves if you divide plants later in the season.

Prairie Splendor Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea ‘Prairie Splendor’)

Purple coneflower boasts striking blooms with reflexed purple petals that surround a spiky orange-gold cone. This drought-tolerant perennial is hardy in Zone 4 to 8 and native to the Central Midwest. Blossoms beckon butterflies and bees. Plants benefit from dividing when clumps enlarge and flowering slows. You can also lift and transplant young seedlings that form around the base of the mother plant.

May Night Salvia (Salvia nemerosa ‘Mainacht’)

For striking dark blue to deep purple flower spikes, tuck 'May Night' salvia into your garden. Plants grow to 24 inches tall; place them in the middle of a border for a strong show. Give plants moist soil that drains well in all seasons. Flowers appear in early summer; plants rebloom with deadheading. This salvia is hardy in Zones 3 to 8. Divide plants every 4 to 6 years. Watch for signs of reduced flowering or clumps falling open as clues that it’s time to divide.

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’)

Tough and reliable, black-eyed Susan fills summer with cheery blooms that look good in the garden or a vase. Plants are a snap to grow—just give them average soil in full sun. Clumps spread quickly when plants are happy. Remove edges of clumps in spring to keep plants in bounds. Black-eyed Susan doesn’t usually need dividing, but it’s a good idea to do so at the 4-year mark to rejuvenate clumps. 'Goldsturm' is hardy in Zones 3 to 10.

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

Pastel pink blossoms with hot-pink eyes sizzle in the mid- to late summer garden on 'Bright Eyes' garden phlox. Sweetly fragrant flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Full sun and moist soil rich in organic matter produces the healthiest growth. This phlox shows good mildew resistance. Divide large clumps when flowering diminishes or when you want to multiply the plant in your garden. 'Bright Eyes' is hardy in Zones 4 to 8.

'Vulcan' Hosta

Strong white centers surrounded by green edges make 'Vulcan' hosta leaves shine in the garden. Tuck plants into partial shade for best growth. Morning sun with afternoon shade or high dappled shade is ideal. Lavender blooms in mid- to late summer lure hummingbirds. Divide plants when they’re fully established—wait at least three years after planting if you are dividing to multiply plants. Otherwise, wait until five to eight years before dividing. 'Vulcan' is hardy in Zones 3 to 9.

Blazing Star (Liatris spicata ‘Kobold’)

Count on blazing star to introduce vertical interest to your garden with its purple flower spikes. Butterflies and other pollinators mob blooms. Hardy in Zones 4 to 9, this blazing star variety tops out at 3 feet. Dig and divide large clumps to multiply plants or when growth and flowering decreases. Divide in spring as shoots appear.

Hibiscus ‘Cranberry Crush’

Dinner-plate size cranberry blooms give this hardy hibiscus a breathtaking quality from midsummer through early fall. 'Cranberry Crush' performs best when soil stays consistently moist and full sun bathes the plant. Plants grow 3 to 4 feet tall. Cut stems back to 3 to 4 inches in late winter. This hibiscus shouldn’t need dividing for a good 8 to 10 years. Divide when flowering slows or to multiply plants. Plants are hardy in Zones 4 to 9.

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.

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