Perennials

Most plants can be placed in one of two main categories: perennials and annuals. The difference between these types is all about the length of each plant's life cycle. Some plants can be referred to as biennials or annual/perennials, but these are less common than the two primary groups. One way to remember this distinction is to associate the word perennial with permanent, though these plants don't necessarily last forever. Most woody plants like trees and shrubs are perennials since their lifespan lasts for numerous years. When starting a new garden or adding to your plant collection, it's important to know the difference between annuals and perennials and each type's characteristics and needs.

Basket-of-gold
Beardtongue
Bee Balm
Bellflower
Bergenia
Blanket flower
Bleeding heart
Bluestar
Brunnera
Bugbane
Bugleweed
Bugloss
Cardinal flower
Coneflower
Coral bells
Daisy
Daylily
Fleabane
Foamflower
Gas plant
Gayfeather
Goatsbeard
Hellebore
Hosta
Lady's mantle
Lupine
Meadowsweet
Poppy
Primrose
Salvia
Solomon's seal
Thrift
Violets
Windflower
Wormwood


When it's said that a plant is a perennial, it means that once it has been planted, it will continue to survive and bloom throughout several years or even multiple decades. Perennials can be further broken down into deciduous or evergreen. The name evergreen is self-explanatory, meaning a perennial plant that keeps its foliage throughout the winter and all year-round. Deciduous perennials, however, go through a dormant period. Their root systems remain alive and healthy, but the visible parts of the plant may appear lifeless during certain parts of the year.

Many gardeners like to keep a mix of both perennial and annual plants in their landscaping. Not having to replant perennials each year is definitely a convenience, but it also comes with a sacrifice. When they are in season, perennials usually don't stay in bloom as long as annuals, sometimes only lasting a few weeks of the year. Keep in mind that many perennials don't bloom until their second year when they are planted from seeds.

Just because perennial plants can survive over time doesn't mean that they are resilient to neglect. These plants still need the proper maintenance, care, and nurturing to not only stay alive but also to reach their full potential. Survival, however, is primarily dependent on environment. Selecting plants appropriate for your garden's hardiness zone is crucial to success. Enter your zip code in the bottom menu to find which plants are best suited for your region's climate or browse our selection of all recommended perennial plants below.