Do you want all the joy of gardening, the long blooms, the lush foliage, the colorful flowers, but you don’t want the flip side? Gardening can, in some cases, be time consuming.
But you can cut down on panting, seeding, taking bulbs out of the ground, etc. by choosing perennials that bloom for long times…
This way, you will have lots of flowers for whole seasons, but you won’t need to replace your plants every year, or even at every change of season as you would with short lived flowers.
It is the best of both worlds: big results, plenty of flowers and little work. This is why long blooming perennials are excellent for low maintenance gardens.
There are many longest flowering perennials you can choose from; most are fairly easy to grow and once established, they will keep coming back with new blooms year after year. Choosing the best one for your needs and garden very important though.
And this is exactly what this article is going to help you with: you will meet 20 fabulous flowering perennials that offer long bloom periods and get practical tips to care for each one.
20 Long Blooming Perennials To Enjoy Summer-Long Color
You may have heard of some, and some may sound new to you, but they are all amazing and easy to grow.
Here are 20 of the most amazing longest flowering perennials that bloom all summer long.
1. Geranium ‘Rozanne’
An original cultivar of the well loved geranium genus, ‘Rozanne’ could be a record holder when it comes to blooming: it can keep giving you new flowers for an impressive four months, from June to September!
So, if you want to be surrounded by beautiful, light blue with a white centre, wide and rounded petals and purple rays that emanate from the center, where you will find purplish blue pistils. The flower is a very elegant beauty indeed.
Also consider that late in the flowering season, blue flowers are harder to get (colors tend to become warmer in summer and the fall, red, orange yellow etc.).
This is a long-blooming perennial plant that will fill your garden with many flowers and, hold on, it is very adaptable and needs very little care.
Perfect for a low maintenance but high blooming garden.
2. Russian Sage (Peroskvia Atripliciflora)
Fill your garden with huge, bright and lavender colored spikes of innumerable flowers that can reach a meter (more than 3 feet) high, and let them blossom for a whole 10 weeks with Russian sage!
This amazing plant won the Perennial of the Year Prize in 1995, and for good reason.
To the massive inflorescences of this plant, which you can use as cut flowers, this perennial will add beautiful, finely shaped silver green leaves.
Each spike branches off into many lateral stems, each carrying dozens of long, tubular blue flowers enclosed in violet sepals.
The two together play a trompe l’oeil effect on the viewer worthy of an Impressionist painter, or better a Pointillist one.
The effect is stunning and no visitor to your garden could ever miss such a wonderful shrub.
3. Coreopsis ‘Full Moon’
Coreopsis ‘Full Moon’ is one of the longest blooming perennials around; in fact, it will be in bloom from summer to the first frost.
And what blooms! This plant forms shrub let’s that reach about 30 inches in height, or 75 cm, but they will literally cover with beautiful yellow flowers for months.
The flowers themselves can be 3 inches in diameter, and they are of a very bright canary yellow, with petals that frill at the end.
It is an easy to grow and hardy perennial, and it propagates easily. You can also use it for cut flowers, which your Coreopsis ‘Full Moon’ will keep re-growing.
This is an excellent perennial for borders, but you can also grow it in pots and use it to cover large patches of land.
4. Coneflower (Echinacea spp.)
The large, daisy like flowers of Echinacea are now famous all over the world, and they will blossom from early summer to the fall.
This plant is maybe better known with its scientific name, Echinacea purpurea being the most famous species, but also because of its impressive medical qualities. But it is also a long blooming perennial.
The leaves are if two types: you will have lance shaped leaves at the base of the plant and smaller one along the stems.
The flowers can be up to 4 inches across. Late in the bloom, the petals bend downwards, giving coneflower its famous look.
The plants themselves can reach 4 feet (1.2 meters) in height and they are easy to grow, as long as you give them plenty of soil depth where they can grow their roots.Coneflower is excellent for borders, cottage gardens, flower beds but also, if you want, for large swathes of flowers in your garden.
5. Black Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldstrum’)
If you fancy a long-blooming perennial plant that will produce loads of flowers from late summer to October, black eyed Susan does just that.
This plant will keep producing beautiful, bright and bold yellow flowers that look like huge daisies for months on end.
It is easy to grow, and it looks much better in large clumps or groups, so, use it for borders, large flower beds and big effects.
The final ensemble will look like you have many golden suns that coast your path or surround your patio…
6. Husker Red (Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’)
If you think this perennial will give you red flowers for a long time, you are mistaken: its flowers are actually white.
But you will get a red color, and plenty of it, because the stems and leaves are bronze red. And this makes the flowers stand out even more!The dark, lanceolate leaves, with their warm color, in fact, will offer the best possible frame, or setting, for the many, but small, white slightly elongated flowers with five petals that will look great in informal gardens, rock gardens, borders or flowerbeds from late spring to early summer.
7. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
With flat, round and bountiful inflorescences, or “corymbs”, yarrow can bless your garden with blooms that will last the whole summer, and sometimes, you may even get the first flowers in early spring.
This summer blooming perennials is a favorite in cottage gardens, and it will look great in borders, wild flower beds and in large clumps.
It will reach a height of about 3 feet, or 90 cm, with upright stems topped with the large inflorescences, that can be of many colors, to suit your taste.It is also a famous plant, used by witches in the old days, and now in alternative medicine, and, to the beauty of the flowers, you will add a lot of butterflies, as they do love Achillea.
8. Catmint ‘Walker’s Low’ (Nepeta Racemosa ‘Walker’s Low’)
The lavender blue flowers of catmint ‘Walker’s Low’ will brighten up your garden for up to – brace yourself – five consecutive months! If this is not long blooming, I don’t know what is…
On top of this, the flowers are so many, so thick and so beautifully colored that you can literally bring a sea of color to your pots, patio, terrace or garden.
It is easy to grow and, from a distance, it resembles lavender a bit. But the spikes of catmint ‘Walker’s Low’ tend to grow upright and look like blue spikes rising from a rich green and lush bed of leaves.
The plant looks great in borders, but it can also be mixed with others in flower beds. It is perfect for city gardens as well as for informal and Mediterranean gardens.It will grow to about 3 feet in height (90 cm) and it will fill with hummingbirds and butterflies!
9. Daylily (Hemerocallis spp.)
Daylily flowers only last one day, but they keep coming day after day. These perennial plants have become very popular because they are very, very easy to grow, and they are very, very generous with their blooms.
The flowers are stunning indeed, as they look like lilies. However, despite the name, this plant is not related to the lily.
They look great in clumps, as borders, in containers, as edges, in large beds, where, from the long and fleshy leaves, you will get lots of long stems with the brightly colored flowers coming in quick sequence for a long time.
The range of colors is fantastic and, just wait – there are about 60,000 different cultivars of this long blooming perennial you can choose from!
10. Sunset Snappy Blanket Flower (Gaillardia x grandiflora ‘Arizona Sun’)
Bring some bright, warm, vibrant colors into your garden with the flowers of a stunning perennial: sunset snappy blanket flower, as some call it, or Gaillardia x grandiflora ‘Arizona Sun’.
It is named after the Sun of the hot U.S. state and sunset because of the color and shape of its flowers. With a bright red center and a yellow crown, they will set your garden on fire from summer to fall!
The individual flowers will each about 3 inches in size (7 cm), but each plant will produce loads, and, with those colors, it will remind you of South American textile patterns…
They are fairly short plants (about 10 inches tall, or 25 cm), which makes them suitable for many places. In fact, you can grow them in pots, flower beds, borders, rock gardens and cottage gardens.No wonder this perennial flowering plant has won many awards, including the All American Selection Award in 2005.
11. Baby Pete and Queen Mum African Lily (Agapanthus praecox ssp. orientalis)
Let me introduce you to two perennial cultivars with large, round, spherical inflorescences and a wonderful presence in any garden.
The main difference between the two is that ‘Baby Pete’ has blue flowers, while ‘Queen Mum’ has white flowers, mainly, though they are lilac at the base of the petals.
The flowers are tubular, and they come in dozens on top of long stems, that can reach 4 feet in height (120 cm).
The leaves grow straight from the ground and they are long, fleshy and tongue shaped. This plant is very generous with its blooms and it is very easy to grow.
It can look great in combinations, adding height and texture to any flower bed.
However, they have become very popular on their own in city and courtyard gardens where they look stunning thanks to their architectural qualities growing on gravel in neat yards and gardens. They are also perfect for rock gardens, patios, containers and in borders.
12. Fuchsia (Fuchsia spp.)
If you want a wonderful, colorful, original perennial flowers that bloom all summer you can’t miss out on fuchsia.
This beautiful plant will keep producing amazing drooping flowers, with those famous “central bells” surrounded by star shaped petals (actually sepals) often of different colors.
Some species start in summer and end in the fall, others even produce the first flowers in spring!
Regarded as one of the most delicate and elegant flowers in the world, it is also very generous and no perennial is better for a corner of peace, sophisticated beauty and chilling calm around patios or growing in large flower beds or borders.
There are some stunning varieties, and it is impossible to name them all, but ‘Ballet Girl’, with white petals in the crown and upward turning crimson sepals, can be a great choice, or ‘Beacon’ purple and red, ‘Border Queen’ instead will give you the striking contrast of blue and pink, ‘Dark Eyes’ contrasts a deep, velvety violet purple with dark red, or why not ‘Delta Sara’ with deep blue and white?
Or, if you want a romantic look, ‘Claudia’ and ‘Devonshire Dumpling’ match white with pink…
13. Columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris)
Columbine is a short lived flowering perennial, which means that each plant won’t be with you for many years, but it will self seed and propagate naturally. So, once you plant a few, you will enjoy Aquilegia’s flowers forever.
They are very popular plants because they are very easy to grow and because they are generous with their blooms, which will start in late spring and continue into the summer season.
With their colorful, crowned and often double flowers and a wide range of tints to choose from, these perennials can be a blessing in beds and borders for all sorts of informal gardens.The choice of cultivars is huge; ‘Blue Barlow’ is if a dark deep blue hue while ‘Black Barlow’ is deep purple, for example, but ‘Green Apples’ is white with green tips, and there are many others to choose from.
14. Clematis (Clematis spp.)
Could we forget the exotic, radiant, climbing perennial clematis, with its enchanting flowers that will keep coming from spring to fall? Of course not! This vine is a real wonder of Nature, as it has beautiful glossy leaves and wide flowers that can reach 5 inches (12 cm) in diameter.
It will grow very quickly and it will stay with you forever, coming back with new colorful flowers year after year.
There are about 300 species to choose from, and it is perfect for fences, pergolas, gazebos, to frame patios, terraces and even to soften the walls of buildings in courtyard gardens.
If you want to get some extra blooms, make sure you keep the roots of your clematis cool. A simple trick is to put stones around the base of the plant.
15. Aloe (Aloe spp.)
Did you know that aloe is not just good for cosmetics and health products, but it is one of the most amazing flowering perennials ever?
These wonderful succulents will keep producing a sea of beautiful, tubular flowers for the whole of summer, but this beauty of Nature is known to blossom in any season! In hot regions, you can find aloe plants in flower even in winter!
The leaves of the aloe are world famous, triangular with thorns on the edges, but do you know what the inflorescences look like?
They look like cones of fire, usually of the brightest red, orange or yellow shades. Sometimes the flowers have deep purple tips, but they are always waxy and shiny in texture.The most famous species are, of course, Aloe vera and Aloe arborescens, and, of course, you will need to live in a hot country to grow it outdoors.
16. Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa)
How about having a waving sea of showy flaming bright yellow to orange flowers and butterflies that comes back year on year in your garden?
Butterfly weed takes its name from the fact that it attracts these beautifully winged insects, and it grows “like weed”, basically with no effort at all. In fact, you can easily naturalize it. It will also self seed.
This tuberous plant grows well in clumps or large groups, to a height of about 2.5 feet (75 cm), which makes it also suitable for borders and flower beds.
Especially beautiful if mixed with other flowering grassy plants in cottage garden type arrangements, butterfly weed can bring that wild feel to your garden, with all its visual beauty and great vibrancy. And it does look perfect in a wild meadow!
The flowers will come in umbrels, which are umbrella shaped inflorescences at the top of the plant.
They can be upright or tilted, and they have five bright petals in a crown formation, pointing up, and 5 darker orange or yellow sepals pointing down… And they will blossom from late spring to autumn. It also has medicinal properties.
17. Eastern Bee Balm (Monarda bradburiana)
A perennial with weirdly shaped flowers that blossoms for a month in late spring you may love is eastern bee balm.
This plant may be in bloom a bit shorter than the others we have seen, but still for a long time and the shape and color are very attractive and unusual.
In fact, the flowers, which are off white pinkish with bright purple dots, have one big, tongue like petal at the bottom and then the stamens and pistil arching over it.
The effect is that of many mouths opening around a central point. Yes, because they come in round inflorescences of about a dozen on top of a white greenish bract.
They also have a wonderful so scent and you can use them as cut flowers.This plant is great in borders, flower beds, cottage gardens and wild prairies.
18. Spider Lily (Ttadescantia spp.)
The beautiful flowers of this perennial plant have three petals, roughly triangular in shape, that make the whole flower look like a triangle, and it will blossom for most of the summer months.
The flowers are about 1.5 inches across (4 cm), and they can be of many colors, white, pink, blue or purple.
The leaves are succulent, and they form low bushlets which “walk” easily around the garden, and, as soon as they touch ground, they grow a new plant. So, this perennial propagates fast and without any help.
But the is more; the leaves themselves have amazing colors; you will find them of the deepest purple, richest green, white or any combination of these thee.
Famous varieties are Tradescantia pallida, with pink flowers and rich burgundy leaves, Tradescantia zebrina, with striped leaves (white and green, white and purple and green) and pink or blue flowers.
But if you want less common varieties, Tradescantia ‘Sweet Kate’ has large, deep blue flowers and bright green leaves that really set them off.
It is great for borders, beds, containers, pots, patios and rock gardens.
19. Dahlia (Dahlia spp.)
Could we forget a classic perennial flower like dahlia? Of course not, especially because it will start blossoming in midsummer and end only with the first frost.
With 42 species of dahlias and innumerable cultivars and varieties, the choice for your garden is so huge, that you can’t but be tickled by the idea of growing this beautiful flowering plant.
The flowers of this plant are very famous, especially the double and multiple flowers, not just because they are big (the biggest reaches 15 inches in diameter – 38 cm!), but because the palette of colors is astounding.
Mainly appreciated for its warm color range, which goes from yellow to purple via orange, red and pink, if you prefer a softer, more melancholic look, there are also white, cream and rose varieties.
Excellent choice for borders, flower beds, patios and indispensable to cottage gardens, dahlias can also be used as cut flowers, though they will not last long in a vase.
20. Lavender (Lavandula spp.)
Let’s close this list of long flowering perennials with more than a classic plant – lavender, in fact, in the world of gardening is past the status of legend.
Possibly one of the most useful, traditional, and world famous shrubs all over the world, it lends it name to a color, a scent, and many cleaning and beauty products.
The flowers of lavender are so many on each plant that all you will see is a wave of color, a late Monet painting where light takes over from shape, and this, with the beautiful, calming scent of this archetypal flower, means one thing only: planting lavender in your garden is growing emotions!
What is more, pollinators love lavender; a bush will attract dozens of butterflies, beetles and bees…
And this will usually happen twice a year; in fact, Lavandula tends to blossom once starting in early summer and then yet again late in summer. But in some cases, you can even have a third bloom in early autumn.
It is perfect for borders, flower beds, in containers, for hedges, in pots, or patios for rock gardens, Mediterranean gardens, cottage gardens, informal gardens and even formal ones…
Long Flowering Perennials for All Tastes
From small grass like plants with many tiny flowers like butterfly weed, to big blooms on large plants like clematis; from sunny and surreal shrubs like lavender to sultry and vibrant blooms like with dahlias, you can have long flowering perennials for any type of garden, any concept, any atmosphere you wish to generate.
You can have hot Mexican gardens with warm colors, planting sunset snappy sunset flower and dahlias, for example, or choose more pastel hues and create delicate corners with fuchsias, columbines and Tradescantia. The choice is yours.
But with perennials, your garden will come to life with colors in new places, in new combinations, in new shapes year after year, and if your perennials have long blooms, it will become like an ever changing painting from Mother Nature. You just need to mix the colors on your palette.
Amber Noyes was born and raised in a suburban California town, San Mateo. She holds a master’s degree in horticulture from the University of California as well as a BS in Biology from the University of San Francisco. With experience working on an organic farm, water conservation research, farmers’ markets, and plant nursery, she understands what makes plants thrive and how we can better understand the connection between microclimate and plant health. When she’s not on the land, Amber loves informing people of new ideas/things related to gardening, especially organic gardening, houseplants, and growing plants in a small space.