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Guide to Perennials – How to Grow Perennial Plants

Growing Perennials gives me color and beauty all through the spring and summer months.

For a gardener, there is nothing quite like the feeling of wandering around your garden, in the spring, and seeing the first growth of perennials that you have planted years before.

These plants die back in the winter but send out new growth each spring.

This guide to perennials is a great source for helping you to identify which plants are the most hardy, which flower the most profusely, and also which do well in the sunshine or shade.This guide for growing perennials gives tips and trips for plant types and how to grow, propagate and display them.

There are lots of ideas for dividing perennials (the main source of propagation) and also tips for growing these plants in containers on a patio if you don’t have a lot of garden space outside.

I will add to this guide several times each month, so be sure to check back often to see which plants and which tips have been added recently.

Plant perennials to give your garden color and interest year after year without replanting! Click To Tweet

A Guide To Growing Perennials.

This guide is broken down into the identification of various perennial types, as well has sun and light conditions.  Many of the most commonly asked questions by my readers have been covered, as well.

Varieties of Perennials.Perennials are easy to care for and come back year after year.

  • Autumn Frost Hosta – One of my favorite shade perennials.
  • Astilbe – The perfect flowering perennial for a shady garden.
  • Astilbe Photo Gallery – See the colors that this amazing perennial can take on.
  • Balloon Flowers – Platycodon grandiflorus has flower buds that look just like hot air balloons
  • Baptisia Australis – This is a rugged and easy to grow perennial.
  • Bleeding Heart – This romantic perennial is an early spring bloomer.
  • Brugmansia – The shape of this perennial shows why it is called Angel’s Trumpet
  • Chocolate Cosmos – Get a whiff of chocolate in your garden!
  • Clematis – Great looking climbing perennial for a mail box.
  • Columbine – Hummingbirds love this perennial that can take the heat.
  • Copreopsis Star Cluster – This perennial is commonly known as Tickseed.
  • Echinacea After Midnight – A very showy coneflowers that the birds love.
  • Echinacea Purpurea – This robust perennial comes in more than just purple colors!
  • Eastern Red Columbine.- This perennial will grow well from Canada to the deep south.
  • Fiddle head Ferns – This Ostrich fern is a plant that you can eat.
  • Forsythia – This perennial shrub is one of the first to bloom in the spring.
  • Gaillardia – This hardy perennial is also known as Indian Blanket flower and it’s easy to see why.
  • Gazania – This daisy like flower is a cinch to grow.
  • Helleborus – Lenten Rose perennial that blooms in the winter.
  • Heuchera – Coral Bells is the common name and it loves the shade.
  • Hollyhocks – A traditional Cottage Garden Favorite
  • Hosta Minuteman – Striking foliage with deep white margins.
  • Hydrangeas – Care of Hydrangeas, plus propagation tips and how to dry hydrangea flowers.
  • Japanese Silver Grass – This variegated grass makes a wonderful border plant
  • Lamb’s Ear – The kids will love this fuzzy leafed perennial.
  • Liriope – Monkey grass makes the perfect border plant.
  • Liriope Muscari Variegata – Variegated version of the lilyturf plant.
  • Mexican Hat Coneflower – How to grow Sombrero flowers.
  • Oxalis – Tips for growing this plant known as false shamrock or wood sorrel
  • Shasta Daisy – Similar to Oxeye and English Daisy and a common cottage garden plant.
  • Strawberry Begonia – This perennial is great as a potted plant or ground cover.

Tender Perennials

Sometimes, you will find plants where the plant tag is labeled “tender perennial.”  These perennials are native to warm climates. They are normally lush and tropical in look, but will only over winter in the warm climate zones (9 and above).  In the colder zones, the frost will kill them so the plants are better used as indoor plants. I enjoy growing these in pots outside during the spring through early fall and bring them indoors to enjoy during the winter.Tender perennials will live year after year in warm zones

Tender perennials are not annuals which last only one year, although they are often grown as (expensive) annuals in colder zones.  In warm climates, tender perennials will live year after years. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Aechmea Fasciata – The flower on this tropical bromeliad lasts for 9 months for me!
  • Bay Laurel  Tender perennial herb for warmer zones only
  • Cryptanthus Bivittatus – Red Star Bromeliad is a tender perennial for warm zones and can also be grown as a houseplant.
  • Dinner Plate Dahlias – These tender perennials like it warmer so they should be dug up for winter in colder zones.
  • Echeveria Neon Breakers – The flower stem on this pretty succulent can grow to 2 feet long.
  • Gloriosa Lily – Cover and entire wall in just one summer with this climbing tender perennial.
  • Sweet William – This easy to grow perennial is often classified as a tender perennial. It makes a lovely border plant. I can get some varieties to overwinter here in Nrth Carolina zone 7b.
  • Cuphea micropetala – This fun plant with orange and yellow flowers is also known as candy corn plant. It is a perennial in zones 8-11 and can be grown as an annual in cooler locales.

Perennial HerbsGrowing Perennial Herbs

It is not just flowers and shrubs that can be perennial plants. Garden herbs also can fit into this category.  Not all herbs are perennials. (see if your herb is a perennial, biennial or annual here.)  Here are some herbs that are classed as perennials and will grow back year after year. (There are many others, as well, and I will update this page as I add them to the list of posts with information.

  • Chives  This herb gives a light onion flavor to dishes and is better fresh than dried.
  • Oregano  From the planter to Italian dishes!
  • Rosemary  Very hardy perennial herbs. Mine grows even in the winter months in North Carolina
  • Thyme  This tasty herb will come back each year in most zones.

Perennial BulbsPerennial bulbs will give you early and sometimes all season splashes of color year after year.

Bulbs are the most dramatic perennial plants. Find out how to grow them. I ♥ pretty flowers! Click To Tweet

Bulbs are some of my favorite perennials. Once planted they reward you with early spring color and sometimes even re-bloom later in the summer.

RosesVariegated Roses will come back year after year, just like other perennials

Roses come back year after year too! All of my roses have been growing for many years. I prune them in the spring and enjoy color all summer long.

Growing Tips for Perennials. Want color all season long with plants that return year after year? Try growing perennials.

Recommended Books to help with Growing Perennials.

If you are really interested in growing perennials, these books cover the topic in lots detail.

I also recommend PlantSnap mobile app for perennial identification.

Find out about PlantSnap mobile app here.

Tips for the Propagation of Perennials.Tips for propagating all types of plants including perennials

Growing Perennials in Containers.Perennials can be grown in planters too. See some creative ideas on the Gardening Cook

If you are looking for more information on growing perennials, be sure to visit my Perennials Pinterest Board.

Perennials Board on Pinterest

If you enjoyed this guide, be sure to check out these as well: