Common perennial plants are the mainstays of perennial gardens, the plants gardeners remember from their first gardening experiences and have used ever since. The plants have proven themselves to be hardy year after year, bringing a sense of familiarity to a garden and blending in with newer, less well known plants to create a pleasing pallet.
Wandering Jew (Tradescantia zebrina) is native to Mexico and hardy in USDA Zones 8 to 11. In other areas, use the plant as a container or house plant. The plant is a succulent ground cover featuring 3-inch long, oval-shaped leaves growing on stems the color of seafoam green with burgundy markings. The leaves themselves are silver-turquoise and burgundy-green striped on top and violet on the undersides. Plant wandering Jew in rich, moist, organic soil with a good mulch and partial or dappled shade.
Shasta daisy (Leucanthemum x superbum) grows from 8 inches to 4 feet tall and from 1 to 2 feet wide. Dark-green leaves grow up to 1 foot long when growing from the crown of the plant and grow shorter further up the stem. Flowers with white petals and a yellow center grow from 2 to 5 inches across, bloom in July and last for about four weeks. Plant in full sun or partial shade and a rich, moist, well-drained soil. Shasta daisy is hardy in USDA zones 5 to 9.
Oxeye sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides) is also known as false sunflower, rough heliopsis, hardy zinnia and orange sunflower and is hardy in most of the United States and Canada from USDA Zones 2 to 9. The plant grows up to 5 feet tall with course-feeling, dark-green, egg-shaped leaves that grow from 3 to 6 inches long on short stems. Flowers with yellow petals and orange centers bloom from mid-summer into autumn, growing up to 2 inches across. Plant oxeye sunflower in full sun or partial shade and a soil that is moist and well drained.
Daylily (Hemerocallis x hybrida) grows up to 3 feet tall and 2 feet wide, with the flower stalks growing taller than the foliage. The thin, bright-green leaves grow from the crown, growing straight up to 2 feet tall and 1 inch wide, then arching backwards towards the ground. White, yellow, pink, purple, orange, red or bicolored flowers grow in clusters of five to nine blooms, with each plant producing several clusters. Each flower in the cluster will open for one or two days, to be followed by the rest of the cluster, one at a time. The plants bloom anytime from May until first frost. The plant is hardy in USDA zones 3 to 9 and likes full sun or partial shade and a soil that is average and well drained.