Perennial flowers provide low-maintenance garden color year after year. Their presence in the garden saves the time, labor and expense of yearly spring planting. They also provide a framework, once established, for supplementing with seasonal annuals. Choose plants well suited to your climate for the best chance of success. Texas A&M University extension recommends incorporating perennial plants into borders, cut-flower gardens and cottage-style and woodland gardens.Thousands of perennial varieties exist, available in a profusion of shapes, sizes and colors.
Yellow to Green-Yellow and Orange Flowers
Daylilies (Hemerocallis hybrids), hardy to USDA zone 3, are easy-care, long-lasting, clump-forming perennials with attractive, strap-like foliage and large, funnel-shaped blooms, 3 to 5 inches long and wide. Daylily plant size varies by cultivar.
False sunflowers (Heliopsis helianthoides), in the daisy family, are hardy to USDA zone 3. Their single or double 3-to-4-inch flowers resemble zinnias, appearing at the ends of long, branching, leafy stems. False sunflower plants grow 3 to 4 feet tall and spread 2 feet wide.
Goldsturm black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida var. sullivantii 'Goldsturm') is hardy to USDA zone 4 and grows 2½ feet wide and spreads 1 to 2 feet. The 3-to-4-inch, deep-yellow flowers with black central “cones” bloom in great quantities over a long season.
White to Cream Flowers
Lily-of-the-Nile (Agapanthus orientalis) is hardy to zone 8 and grows 2½ feet tall, with 3-foot spread. These plants produce dense, rounded, 6-inch heads of blue or white trumpet-shaped blooms. Its green, strap-like leaves arch attractively from the base of the plant.
The blueleaf plantain lily (Hosta), hardy to USDA zone 3, is prized for its large, bluish, heart-shaped leaves, but it also produces pale lilac to nearly white, 1½-inch-long small lilies in clusters.
Peonies (paeonia hybrids), hardy to zone 5, grow 2 to 4 feet tall, with a spread of 3 feet. Peonies produce fragrant flowers in various colors and forms, as well as glossy foliage. Peony flowers, 3 to 6 inches across, are borne on long stems.
Red to Pink Flowers
Bloodred geraniums (Geranium sanguineum) are hardy to zone 3 and grow 1½ feet tall, with a spread of 2 feet. The common name refers to its fall foliage color. Bloodred geranium blooms are pink, red or white, 1 to 2 inches wide, borne on 8-inch stems.
Oriental poppy (Papaver oriental), grows 2 to 4 feet tall, with a spread of 3 feet, and is hardy to USDA zone 2. These plants produce large, crepe-papery flowers and grow best in regions with cool summers. The flowers bloom from 4 to 10 inches across and are available in many colors, including the well-known scarlet-red.
Blue to Purplish Flowers
Asters (Aster spp.), hardy to zone 4, grow 9 inches to 6 feet tall, depending on the species and spread 1 to 1½ feet. They produce daisy-like flowers in every color except orange, but shades of violet-purple or blue are very common. The flowers grow 2 inches across and all exhibit yellow centers.
Iris (Iris spp.), hardy to zone 3, are available in myriad shapes, colors and forms. They all produce gray-green, sword-shaped leaves and range in size from 4 inches to 4 feet tall, depending on the species and cultivar.