Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day

Perennials for Non-Stop Bloom

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Yellow corydalis (Pseudofumaria lutea, syn. Corydalis lutea) is one of the longest-blooming perennials: from May to October, it is never without flowers.

Most perennials bloom for about 2 weeks. That means that, for a garden that is constantly in bloom, you have to plant a mix of very early, early, mid-season, late and very late perennials. And adjust the mix, again and again, until you get it right. That is doable, but… why not cheat and rely instead on perennials with a naturally long blooming season?

All the plants described below bloom for at least 6 weeks and most for 8 weeks and more. Even within this group, there are plants that bloom early, in the middle of the summer and late in the fall. So, with 3 or 4 with long-blooming perennials, it’s easy to cover the whole season.

This list is far from complete – to include all cultivars with prolonged blooming, would have required a list 10 times longer! – but at least it will give you a few suggestions you can build on when renovating a garden or start a new one.

Long-blooming perennials simply make a gardener’s life that much easier!

Variety      Months of Bloom       Hardiness zones

  1. African Sun sundrops (Oenothera ‘African Sun’) 6-10 zone 4
  2. Anise-hyssop (Agastache ‘Blue Fortune’) 7-9 zone 5
  3. Anne Folkard geranium (Geranium ‘Anne Folkard’) 6-10 zone 5
  4. Anne Thomson geranium (Geranium ‘Anne Thomson)   6-10 zone 5
  5. Armenian geranium (Geranium psilostemon) 6-8 zone 5
  6. Aster (Aster spp.) 8-10 zone 4
  7. Baby’s breath (Gypsophila paniculata) 6-8 zone 4
  8. Balloonflower (Platycodon grandiflorum) 8-9 zone 3
  9. Becky Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum ‘Becky’) 6-10 zone 4
  10. Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) 7-10 zone 3
  11. Bloody geranium (Geranium sanguineum) 6-8 zone 3
  12. Broad-leaved bellflower (Campanula latifolia) 6-8 zone 3
  13. Carpathian bellflower (Campanula carpatica) 6-8 zone 3
  14. Catmint (Nepeta spp.) 6-9 zone 4
  15. Caucasian scabious (Scabiosa caucasica) 7-9   zone 4
  16. Checkermallow (Sidalcea spp.) 7-8 zone 4
  17. Chocolate snakeroot (Ageratina altissima ‘Chocolate’) 9-11 zone 3
  18. Cinquefoil (Potentilla spp.) 6-8 zone 3
  19. Common sundrops (Oenothera tetragona ‘Fyrverkeri’, syn. ‘Fireworks’) 6-8 zone 3
  20. Common yarrow (Achillea millefolium) 6-9 zone 2
  21. Coral bells (Heuchera x brizoides) 6-9 zone 3
  22. Corsican pansy (Viola corsica) 5-10 zone 3
  23. Culver’s root (Veronicastrum virginiana) 7-9 zone 3
  24. Cupid’s dart (Catananche caerulea) 7-9 zone 4
  25. Cutleaf coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata) 7-10 zone 3
  26. Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea) 7-9 zone 3
  27. El Desperado daylily (Hemerocallis ‘El Desperado’) 7-8 zone 3
  28. Elecampagne (Inula ensifolia) 7-8 zone 3
  29. False sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides) 7-9 zone 3
  30. Fernleaf yarrow (Achillea filipendulina ‘Coronation Gold’) 6-9 zone 3
  31. Field scabious (Knautia arvense) 7-9 zone 4
  32. Firecracker loosestrife (Lysimachia ciliata ‘Atropurpurea’, syn. ‘Fire Works’) 7-8 zone 3
  33. Fleabane daisy (Erigeron speciosus) 7-8 zone 3
  34. Frosty Fire cheddar pink (Dianthus gratianopolitanus ‘Frosty Fire’) 6-9 zone 3
  35. Gaillardia (Gaillardia x grandiflora) 7-10 zone 2
  36. Gayfeather (Liatris spp.) 7-9 zone 3
  37. Globe thistle (Echinops spp.) 7-8 zone 3
  38. Golden Gate daylily (Hemerocallis ‘Golden Gate’) 7-8 zone 3
  39. Golden marguerite (Anthemis tinctoria)   7-9 zone 3
  40. Gooseneck loosestrife (Lysimachia clethroides) 7-9 zone 3
  41. Great white fleeceflower (Persicaria polymorpha, syn. Polygonum polymorphum) 6-9 zone 3
  42. Happy Returns daylily (Hemerocallis ‘Happy Returns’’) 6-8 zone 3
  43. Himalaya fleeceflower (Persicaria affinis, syn. Polygonum affine) 6-10 zone 4
  44. Japanese aster (Kalimeris pinnatifida ‘Hortensis’) 7-9 zone 4
  45. Johnson’s Blue geranium (Geranium ‘Johnson’s Blue’) 6-9 zone 3
  46. Knautia (Knautia macedonica) 7-9 zone 4
  47. Largeflower coreopsis (Coreopsis grandiflora) 6-10 zone 3.
  48. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) 6-8 zone 5
  49. Maltese cross (Lychnis chalecodonica) 7-8 zone 4
  50. Masterwort (Astrantia major) 7-9 zone 4
  51. Mini Pearl daylily (Hemerocallis ‘Mini Pearl’) 6-8 zone 3
  52. Missouri evening primrose (Oenothera missouriensis) 6-9 zone 3
  53. Musk mallow(Malva moschata) 6-9 zone 3
  54. Narrow-leaved sundrops (Oenothera fruticosa) 6-8 zone 4
  55. Narrow-spiked ligularia (Ligularia stenophylla ‘The Rocket’) 7-8 zone 4
  56. Obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana) 7-9 zone 2
  57. Orange coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida sullivantii) 7-9 zone 3
  58. Orchid Candy daylily (Hemerocallis ‘Orchid Candy’) 6-8 zone 3
  59. Pacific bleeding-heart (Dicentra formosa) 6-10 zone 3
  60. Pandora’s Box daylily (Hemerocallis ‘Pandora’s Box’) 7-8 zone 3
  61. Pardon Me daylily (Hemerocallis ‘Pardon Me’) 7-8 zone 3
  62. Perennial flax (Linum perenne) 6-8 zone 2
  63. Perennial sage (Salvia nemorosa & S. x sylvestris) 6-8 zone 4
  64. Pink coreopsis (Coreopsis rosea) 7-8 zone 3
  65. Pink evening primrose (Oeonothera speciosa ‘Rosea’) 6-9 zone 5
  66. Przewalksi’s ligularia (Ligularia przewalskii) 7-8 zone 4
  67. Purple Waters daylily (Hemerocallis ‘Purple Waters’) 6-7 zone 3
  68. Radiant Greetings’ daylily (Hemerocallis ‘Radiant Greetings’) 7-8 zone 3
  69. Red valerian (Centranthus ruber) 6-10 zone 3
  70. Rose campion (Lychnis coronaria) 7-8 zone 3
  71. Royal Candles Speedwell (Veronica ‘Royal Candles) 6-8 zone 3
  72. Rozanne geranium (Geranium ‘Rozanne’) 6-10 zone 3
  73. Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) 8-10 zone 4
  74. Sea holly (Eryngium spp.) 7-9 zone 3
  75. Sea thrift (Armeria maritima) 5-7 zone 3
  76. Showy stonewort (Sedum spectabile, now Telephium spectabile) 8-10 zone 2
  77. Siloam Ury Winniford daylily (Hemerocallis ‘Siloam Ury Winniford’) 7-8 zone 3
  78. Small scabious (Scabiosa columbaria) 7-8 zone 3
  79. Sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale) 8-9 zone 3
  80. Spiderwort (Tradescantia x andersoniana) 6-9 zone 4
  81. Spike speedwell (Veronica spicata) 6-8 zone 3
  82. Stella de Oro daylily (Hemerocallis ‘Stella de Oro’) 6-9 zone 3
  83. Thread leaf coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata) 6-10 zone 3
  84. Tree lavatera (Lavatera thuringiaca) 7-9 zone 4
  85. Viola (Viola spp.) 5-9 zone 3
  86. Wargrave Pink geranium (Geranium endressii ‘Wargrave Pink’) 6-7 zone 4
  87. Water forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpioides ‘Semperflorens’) 6-8 zone 3
  88. Yellow corydalis (Corydalis lutea, now Pseudofumaria lutea) 5-10 zone 4
  89. Yellow loosestrife (Lysimachia punctata) 6-7 zone 3

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

2 comments on “Perennials for Non-Stop Bloom

  1. Months of bloom is a tricky term. When I first read the list I was all “WHERE are these planted that they bloom for 6 to 9 months!!!???” Eventually my logic kicked in. Thanks for a great list.

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